Laos: Private investment for Q1, Q2 exceeds 12 month target
Investment by domestic and foreign private sector climbed to more than 16,530 billion kip in the first half of this year, exceeding the target for the whole year by 10 percent, the government has said.
The Laos-China Railway, on which construction began in December last year, appeared to be the main driver of this huge spurt in investment.
In the past six months, Laos approved 3,151 investment projects by the priv ate sector with registered capital amounting to 51,588 billion kip (US$6.148 billion), Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Dr Kikeo Chanthabouly told National Assembly members last week .
Of the registered capital, more than 16,530 billion kip (more than US$1.9 billion) has been deposited in Laos with the money transferred through banks.
The transferred investment capital exceeded the target for 2017 by 10 percent.
In its Socio-economic Development Plan for 2017, the government targeted 14,474 billion kip in investment by the domestic and foreign private sectors.
Of the transferred capital, more than US$496 million was in the form of monetary deposits for various investment projects, with more than US$312 million for the Laos-China railway.
The remaining more than US$1.16 billion was in the form of materials and vehicles for various projects.
The huge investment registered by the private sector has driven total investment in Lao socio-economic development up to more than 25,330 billion kip. This accounts for 69.65 percent of the total plan for 2017, which was set at 36,366 billion kip. However, investment capital mobilised from other sectors has witnessed slower growth.
Over the past six months, credit released by banks to finance socio-economic development reached more than 3,500 billion kip, accounting for 44.8 percent of the target figure for 2017.
In addition, more than 1,780 billion kip of state funds was disbursed to finance 3,592 state-invested projects over the same period.
Although this figure represented just 32.6 percent of the target figure for 2017, Dr Kikeo assured the meeting that state expenditure would be implemented as planned.
During the first half of the year, more than 3,485 billion kip (US$419.3 million) in Official Development Assistance (ODA) was provided, representing 40.76 percent of the target for 2017.
The deputy minister explained that although only 40.76 percent of ODA had been provided in the first half of this year, it did not mean Laos was off track in meeting the target for 2017.
He said donors would provide money when projects financed by grants were completed, adding that most projects would be successfully implemented during the second half of the year, and more ODA would be disbursed accordingly.