VIENTIANE, May 14 (Xinhua) -- The Lao government has approved more than 6,000 investment projects with combined funding of around 37 billion U.S. dollars since the introduction of the market-oriented economy and opening up to the world in the 1980s.
From 1989 to 2019 the total number of investment projects was 6,144, with an overall investment value of 36.8 billion U.S. dollars, according to figures released recently by the Ministry of Planning and Investment, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Thursday.
According to the statistics, China is the top foreign investor with a total of 862 projects with a combined investment value of 10 billion U.S. dollars. Thailand and Vietnam were listed as second and third largest foreign investors with investment values of 4.7 billion U.S. dollars and 3.9 billion U.S. dollars respectively.
Among the other top foreign investors from 1989 to 2019 were South Korea, France, the United States, Japan, Malaysia and Australia.
The most popular investment sector in Laos from 1989 to 2019 was electricity generation, which attracted investment of about 14 billion U.S. dollars.
The second sector attracting a significant amount of funding during this period was mining, with total investment of 7.5 billion U.S. dollars. Other sectors attracting high levels of investment were services, agriculture, industry, and handicrafts.
The Vientiane Times report said one of the sectors in which Laos has huge untapped potential is agriculture thanks to the abundance of fertile land, and this is made even more attractive by the surging demand for agricultural produce in neighboring China.
To improve the situation for new business operators, the Lao Ministry of Planning and Investment has set up a one-stop service to make it easier for businesspeople to obtain investment permission as well as the necessary business-related documents.