Kuwaiti firms eye investment in Lao agriculture
Vientiane Times | 14 Feb 2009
A number of Kuwaiti businesses have expressed an interest in investing in agriculture in Laos, according to a Lao company owner.
President of the Lao Arrony Corporation, Mr Khamsavang Mingboupha, said a Kuwaiti business group had informed him they will travel to Laos to explore investment opportunities in the areas of rice and agarwood cultivation.
“If there is no change to their schedule, the Kuwaiti business group will arrive in Laos later this month,” he told Vientiane Times, adding the group will meet with policy makers and agriculture businesses.
Mr Khamsavang, who is also Vice President of the Lao Agriculture Products Processing Group, accompanied Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh on his visit to Kuwait last month.
He said the Lao and Kuwaiti governments had reached an agreement on agriculture cooperation, creating opportunities for businesses from both countries to undertake joint ventures in the future.
The Kuwaiti government has also allocated funds for a feasibility study on cultivating rice for export in central Laos.
Mr Khamsavang said Kuwait has limited land to grow rice and other crops, making it difficult to ensure food security, especially when agriculture-based nations are shifting towards using agricultural land
to produce bio-fuels.
He said Kuwait is a major global oil exporter and one of the richest nations in the Middle East . It wants to invest in agro-business in developing countries as part of efforts to create a sustainable source of food for its population of about 2 million people.
Mr Khamsavang said Laos is regarded as a country with a large potential for agro-business and cooperation efforts between the two countries would bring mutual benefits to Laos and Kuwait .
He said Lao farmers would have the opportunity to develop their farming practices and have access to wider markets.
Mr Khamsavang said Laos exports large amount of agricultural products to Thailand and France, while Kuwait mainly imports such products from Thailand and Vietnam.
He said the Lao and Kuwaiti governments also reached an agreement on transport cooperation, which would enable Lao exporters to send their produce to Kuwait.
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