Young Lao entrepreneurs seek more investment from Cambodian counterparts

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - Budding Lao entrepreneurs have invited their counterparts from Cambodia to make more investment and to do business in Laos in order to boost cooperation in trade and entrepreneurial undertakings between the two sides. 

This cooperation will help young Lao and Cambodian  entrepreneurs to create networks for future partnerships and ventures to expand their businesses, the President of the Young Entrepreneurs Association of Laos (YEAL), Dr Khamsen Sisavong, said when addressed a business matching event between YEAL and the Young Entrepreneurs Association of Cambodia in Vientiane last week.

The members of YEAL have interests in diverse business sectors, such as education, information and communication technology, agriculture, energy, construction and hydropower.

“We believe that more business partnerships between Laos and Cambodia will add to our socio-economic progress and prosperity,” said Dr Khamsen.

The business matching event was a good opportunity for Lao and Cambodian entrepreneurs to discuss investment, potential, business opportunities and challenges, as well as how they can truly collaborate and in what way.

Cambodia and Laos have a long history of cooperation as they a border in southern Laos. They also enjoy the riches of the Mekong River, which the Lao and Cambodian people rely on.

Cambodia and Laos have pledged to boost trade and investment, although trade volumes between the two countries further decreased during 2015-2017, according to Laos’ Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

In 2015, the trade volume between Laos and Cambodia was more than US$24.7 million but it dropped to almost US$18 million in 2016, and then to US$16 million in 2017.   

Last year, the value of exports from Laos to Cambodia touched US$6.4 million and the figure is expected to increase to US$7 million this year. However, there was no official data on the value of imports from Cambodia. 

The Minister of Industry and Commerce, Ms Khemmani Pholsena, said Laos supports the promotion of trade activities between the two countries, and urged Cambodia to encourage its private sector to invest in Laos. 

 The number of Cambodian tourists visiting Laos has fluctuated since 2015, when total tourist arrivals touched 20,625 before dropping to 16,536 people in 2016 and 15,108 people in 2017. In 2018, 18,908 Cambodian nationals visited Laos, according to the Tourism Development Department of the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism.

In the first three months of this year, the number of Cambodians  visiting Laos climbed to 8,145, an increase of 48 percent compared to the same period last year.

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