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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Chinese Investors Scrambling to Buy Into Laos’ Boten SEZ Ahead of Railway

    Laos’ Boten Specific Economic Zone (SEZ) is enjoying strong interest from Chinese investors as the Lao-China railway nears completion, but local villagers are fearful of the rapid change. They say that the development will be good for the Chinese, but not for the Laotians who currently live there.


    Located in Luang Namtha province, the zone is adjacent to border town of Mohan in China’s Yunnan province. The Lao government expects that when work is completed and the railroad opens in 2021, millions of Chinese tourists will flock to the area.


    “Every day more and more [Chinese] investors come to look for land to build a commercial district. Some are dividing lots for rent and others are setting up shops and restaurants,” said a Luang Namtha official in an interview with RFA’s Lao Service.


    “Infrastructure such as roads, a power grid and public water facilities are being built and connected to the areas with the most interest in a bid to attract even more investors,” he said.


    The official said 10 big corporations and many more small and mid-sized development groups are seeking to build up the zone with shopping malls, hotels, banks and other financial services, storage for merchandise, restaurants, a tourist services center and other shops to cater to the expected tide of tourists.


    Once the railway complete, Boten will be the first stop in Laos coming from China. A Chinese contractor has been tapped to build a massive train station to accommodate the anticipated heavy flow of people and freight.


    Late last month, Lao and Chinese officials marked the completion of boring and construction of the Boten tunnel, the first of 10 major tunnels under the Laos-China railway project.


    “The completion will make Lao people confident that construction of the Laos-China Railway will be completed on time according to the plan,” said Khamsouk Bounnhavong, chairman of an inspection committee for the Lao side of the project in a report published by the official Vientiane Timesnewspaper.


    The state-run daily quoted him as saying that the completion of the tunnel ahead of time for the Laos-China Railway project, which is part of the China-initiated Belt and Road Initiative, would encourage participants of the initiative’s second forum to be held later this month in Beijing.


    The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is 70-nation world-wide infrastructure construction program that has emerged as Chinese President Xi Jinping’s signature foreign policy initiative.


    For some recipient countries, the program has delivered infrastructure and connectivity to China. But it has also raised fears of excessive debt to Chinese banks in countries from Pakistan to Kenya.



    Fearful locals


    There is concern among local residents in Laos that all the Chinese investment in the area not only will fail to generate local jobs, but also will put them out of business.


    One villager who requested anonymity said that Chinese stores and restaurants tend to hire their own citizens rather than Laotians. The villager said that when the Chinese came into the area, rents increased fivefold, and land owners were more eager to do business with Chinese tenants because they could get higher rents and contracts for longer periods of time.


    A local official from the labor department corroborated the villager’s claim, saying that Chinese prefer their own because of a language barrier. As most of the clientele comes from China, Chinese skills are necessary to communicate with customers.


    The official further said that the five affected villages--Boten, BoPeak, TinXane, TinTok and NaTeu--are home to about 300 families of farmers and smalltime merchants selling their goods at the local market.


    As those villagers cater more to the local community, it appears that they would have very little to gain by the buildup of the region, and are seen as a hindrance to development. Many have been resettled and given small compensation, but some refuse to move because they need land for farming.


    The Boten SEZ is not the only target for Chinese investment. There are other zones along the future path of the railroad also getting much attention from Laos’ northern neighbors. But similarly, all the opportunity they are touting will go to Chinese workers, according to locals.


    RFA sources report that the Chomphet SEZ in Luang Prabang province will use 4,500 hectares of land, but will also encroach on villagers. Meanwhile in the Vang Vieng tourist development zone, 22 villages were affected and 200 families in the Vientiane municipal economic zone near the rail station were displaced. These villagers rely on agriculture to make a living and the small compensation they are offered for their land makes many want to stay put.


    Fears that the railway and its accompanying development will benefit Chinese at the expense of Laotians are not entirely unfounded. An analysis by a foreign expert, who requested anonymity, showed that Chinese investment along the rail route is more beneficial to the investors, especially when the Lao government lacks a concrete plan to elevate the standard of living for the Lao people through the development projects.



    Lengthy Leases


    In Boten, Chinese investors have been granted a 50-year lease with the option to extend that lease for 25 additional years. The lease could have been potentially longer.


    Under a previous version of the law on investment promotion, investors could be granted a 99-year concession but in 2016, an amendment capped leases at 50 years.


    But there were those within the government that believe each SEZ should be considered by its own merits.


    “The length of concession depends on what investments are part of an SEZ,” said a former Lao governmental official, speaking on the condition of anonymity.


    “If the SEZ includes many factories that provide local employment, it is acceptable to give an investor a 99-year concession. But if not, even a 50-year concession is too long and makes the investment not worthwhile for the country.”


    RFA’s Lao service sought comment from the Chinese developers involved at Boten, but got no response. The trade department and chamber of commerce in Luang Nam Tha declined to comment on the local concerns about the project.


    Regardless of the exact amount of time each SEZ will be under Chinese control, there are those that see the large-scale investments as an ambitious plan to increase Chinese influence beyond Laos, into the entire Southeast Asian region.


    One analysis of the railway’s impact on the region concluded that China’s presence will forever alter economics and politics in the area, with many more countries falling into “the trap of Chinese debt.”


    Landlocked Laos expects the railway’s 420-kilometer (261-mile) route through the country to lower the cost of exports and consumer goods while boosting socioeconomic development in the impoverished nation of nearly 7 million people. It is part of a longer railway that will extend southward through the Malay peninsula to Singapore.


    Political and financial setbacks have delayed the Lao-China stretch of the railway. The original construction plan called for work to begin in 2011 and be completed in 2015, but the plans now call for the railway to be completed in 2021.

    https://www.rfa.org/english/news/lao...019152750.html

  2. #2
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    Fucking locusts will devour the place like they have Sihanoukville.

  3. #3
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    They say that the development will be good for the Chinese, but not for the Laotians who currently live there.


    Took a while to sink in then.

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    Very strange area up there around Boten. Was there 5 years ago, looked like a high end ghost town. Lots of structure, no people.
    50-80 km south of the border in Oudomxai I was turned away from a hotel because I wasn't Chinese, and that was five years ago.

    I guess when the high speed rail is complete to Boten the tourists from Yunan will increase significantly. I didn't see it in the article but pretty damn sure there is a Casino or will be one.

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    Change is always difficult for some.

    Maybe when the"investors", Chinese or otherwise, actually develop something there may be jobs for the locals. It's up to the locals to petition the politicians to ensure there are.

    Or as many do, sit on their arses and bitch until they die or their kids move away to the nearest city .......

    Tourism jobs, higher prices for their produce - due to access to markets that didn't exist before, foreign investment. Or stick to what they know and slowly disappear into the ground.

    But what do I know. My own personal experience is "limited" to higher durian prices due to increased Chinese demand. Whereas MK RFA unnamed "experts", who prefer to remain "anonymous and unnamed "sources" may have a much more knowledge, or their own agenda to pursue.

    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    RFA sources report
    Unnamed or propaganda pushers?

    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    An analysis by a foreign expert, who requested anonymity,
    Unable to be contacted or backup their false allegations?

    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    even a 50-year concession is too long and makes the investment not worthwhile for the country.”
    Tell that to any subsistence family.

    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    RFA’s Lao service sought comment from the Chinese developers involved at Boten, but got no response


    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    there are those that see the large-scale investments as an ambitious plan to increase Chinese influence beyond Laos, into the entire Southeast Asian region.
    By investing, building infrastructure available to all Laos citizens .... how inclusive.

    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    One analysis of the railway’s impact on the region concluded that China’s presence will forever alter economics and politics in the area, with many more countries falling into “the trap of Chinese debt.”
    I'm sure "others" have different results from their own" analysis. I always though Chinese people made pretty good business people.They certainly have thrived wherever in the world they wash up.

    Care to name which countries have fallen into a Chinese debt trap. Their are ample examples of western countries falling into the western dominated IMF debt traps, Greece being one recent example.

    Typical MK/RFA "reporting".
    A tray full of GOLD is not worth a moment in time.

  6. #6
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    One example of Chinese foreign investment which seems to be much appreciated by the local citizens and local officials in an unexceptional foreign country.

    BYD cheers production of 300th electric bus in US



    China's electric-car maker BYD on Wednesday celebrated the production of the 300th bus at its Lancaster, California manufacturing plant, a milestone hailed by some officials as a successful example of US-China business collaboration and a great step toward reducing pollution.


    The event, attended by city and county officials, employees of BYD, as well as community members, also celebrated the Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA), BYD's neighbor and one of its first customers, on closing in on 1 million miles of zero emissions bus operations. AVTA is expected to meet that goal in early May.


    "Three hundred buses is a milestone for BYD," said Patrick Duan, BYD's vice president of operations and Skyrail.


    "I remember about six years ago, when we arrived in Lancaster, BYD had about a dozen employees working on a few buses at a time. Today we have 750 employees working in a facility of over 550,000 square feet, and we are constructing as many as 80 buses at any given time. These are buses that will be delivered to businesses, institutions and communities throughout the US," he said.


    The 300th bus is a 35-foot BYD K9S model transit bus. It's one of three built for Baton Rouge, Louisiana's Capital Area Transit System (CATS), BYD said.


    Lancaster Mayor Marvin R. Rex Parris said the milestone is a result of a successful collaboration.


    "What BYD and Lancaster have done is we got together and decided to solve a puzzle, how do we have buses that don't add to the climate disruption," he said. "When we first met with BYD, no one had one. … America and China working together solved that problem."


    The mayor said BYD saved Lancaster economically.


    "We had 24 percent unemployment when BYD opened the doors. We are now down to a little under 4 percent. It's a huge difference," he said.

    BYD is the largest manufacturing employer in Lancaster, a desert town in northern Los Angeles County.


    BYD opened the Lancaster plant in 2013. The plant's last expansion, which was completed in 2017, increased its diverse workforce from 500 to more than 800 and 25 percent in annual revenue for Lancaster.


    Chinese Deputy Consul General in Los Angeles Shi Yuanqiang congratulated BYD on its achievement, and said that California enjoys close economic and trade ties with China.


    "Since the year 2000, California has attracted nearly $30 billion of Chinese investment," he said.


    In 2018, the California Air Resources Board voted unanimously to require all new buses be carbon-free by 2029. Environmental advocates predict that the last buses emitting greenhouse gases will be phased out by 2040.


    But some transit agencies, such as the AVTA, already implemented its own plan to phase out fossil fuel buses. In 2016, AVTA set the goal to become the nation's first fully electric fleet by the end of 2018. As part of that decision, it awarded BYD with a contract to purchase 85 electric buses from it over the next five years.


    BYD has already delivered 25 buses to AVTA, the company said.


    Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said she is grateful to BYD for its collaboration with the AVTA. "This has been a partnership, a partnership not only with private sector, but with governments and with the labor. It's the perfect, perfect match," she said.


    "What I found so exciting about the workforce here is: The workforce is made up of 80 percent minorities, including veterans, a growing number of women, and second-chance employees. When you look at the county, that is our top priority," Barger added.

    China Daily Website - Connecting China Connecting the WorldThe investors make a profit on their money, the locals have local jobs - they don't need to leave home and live in their cars/on the streets of the distant big cities, the local and state politicians have something to be proud about, inclusivness in hiring ensure less problems for the police and aid agencies to manage locally and in the big cities.


    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    But what do I know.
    Fuck all you chinky sycophant.

    My own personal experience is "limited"
    I'd say non-existent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    Fucking locusts will devour the place like they have Sihanoukville.
    At least locusts leave when they've raped the land.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusb View Post
    I was turned away from a hotel because I wasn't Chinese,
    The place was probably a front for a casino, brothel, or opium den. You didn't have the right secret knock and password.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    One example of Chinese foreign investment which seems to be much appreciated by the local citizens and local officials in an unexceptional foreign country.
    One HUGE difference: The US isn't a communist country that can do what it likes with it's citizens and it's investors.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maanaam View Post
    One HUGE difference: The US isn't a communist country that can do what it likes with it's citizens and it's investors.
    Another huge difference: They don't appreciate it (except the "officials" who trouser lots of cash to allow it).

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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    One example of Chinese foreign investment which seems to be much appreciated by the local citizens and local officials in an unexceptional foreign country.

    BYD cheers production of 300th electric bus in US



    China's electric-car maker BYD on Wednesday celebrated the production of the 300th bus at its Lancaster, California manufacturing plant, a milestone hailed by some officials as a successful example of US-China business collaboration and a great step toward reducing pollution.


    The event, attended by city and county officials, employees of BYD, as well as community members, also celebrated the Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA), BYD's neighbor and one of its first customers, on closing in on 1 million miles of zero emissions bus operations. AVTA is expected to meet that goal in early May.


    "Three hundred buses is a milestone for BYD," said Patrick Duan, BYD's vice president of operations and Skyrail.


    "I remember about six years ago, when we arrived in Lancaster, BYD had about a dozen employees working on a few buses at a time. Today we have 750 employees working in a facility of over 550,000 square feet, and we are constructing as many as 80 buses at any given time. These are buses that will be delivered to businesses, institutions and communities throughout the US," he said.


    The 300th bus is a 35-foot BYD K9S model transit bus. It's one of three built for Baton Rouge, Louisiana's Capital Area Transit System (CATS), BYD said.


    Lancaster Mayor Marvin R. Rex Parris said the milestone is a result of a successful collaboration.


    "What BYD and Lancaster have done is we got together and decided to solve a puzzle, how do we have buses that don't add to the climate disruption," he said. "When we first met with BYD, no one had one. … America and China working together solved that problem."


    The mayor said BYD saved Lancaster economically.


    "We had 24 percent unemployment when BYD opened the doors. We are now down to a little under 4 percent. It's a huge difference," he said.

    BYD is the largest manufacturing employer in Lancaster, a desert town in northern Los Angeles County.


    BYD opened the Lancaster plant in 2013. The plant's last expansion, which was completed in 2017, increased its diverse workforce from 500 to more than 800 and 25 percent in annual revenue for Lancaster.


    Chinese Deputy Consul General in Los Angeles Shi Yuanqiang congratulated BYD on its achievement, and said that California enjoys close economic and trade ties with China.


    "Since the year 2000, California has attracted nearly $30 billion of Chinese investment," he said.


    In 2018, the California Air Resources Board voted unanimously to require all new buses be carbon-free by 2029. Environmental advocates predict that the last buses emitting greenhouse gases will be phased out by 2040.


    But some transit agencies, such as the AVTA, already implemented its own plan to phase out fossil fuel buses. In 2016, AVTA set the goal to become the nation's first fully electric fleet by the end of 2018. As part of that decision, it awarded BYD with a contract to purchase 85 electric buses from it over the next five years.


    BYD has already delivered 25 buses to AVTA, the company said.


    Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said she is grateful to BYD for its collaboration with the AVTA. "This has been a partnership, a partnership not only with private sector, but with governments and with the labor. It's the perfect, perfect match," she said.


    "What I found so exciting about the workforce here is: The workforce is made up of 80 percent minorities, including veterans, a growing number of women, and second-chance employees. When you look at the county, that is our top priority," Barger added.

    China Daily Website - Connecting China Connecting the WorldThe investors make a profit on their money, the locals have local jobs - they don't need to leave home and live in their cars/on the streets of the distant big cities, the local and state politicians have something to be proud about, inclusivness in hiring ensure less problems for the police and aid agencies to manage locally and in the big cities.


    Yes but WTF has that to do with Lao.
    Why do you always revert to your default' whataboutism?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cujo View Post
    Yes but WTF has that to do with Lao.
    Why do you always revert to your default' whataboutism?
    He always waffles when his stupidity is exposed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cujo View Post
    Yes but WTF has that to do with Lao.
    Why do you always revert to your default' whataboutism?
    Check out the first line of the post'

    "One example of Chinese foreign investment which seems to be much appreciated by the local citizens and local officials in an unexceptional foreign country."

    My reply to this OP is about Chinese foreign investment and it's effect on local employment, meeting local government desires and IMHO potentially actually improving a local and national problems.

    To be from the most anti-Chinese unexceptional country, it only reinforces the racist agenda, constantly portrayed here on TD by MK and echoed by others, point more effectively.



    To recap:

    1. Laos is MK's current target, in which once again she offers hearsay and unproven facts.

    2. My rebuttal accurately illustrates the reverse outcome with named speakers and proven facts of one example.

    3. The proven outcome after a number of years of Chinese foreign investment and it's effect on local employment,

    If you believe the post is fake, prove it and stop your own attempt at:




    Aren't substantiated replies by some forum posters, that attempt to deliver facts, more beneficial than MK's cut and paste impartial RFA posts?
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    The situation in the U.S. is completely different to that in Lao.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cujo View Post
    The situation in the U.S. is completely different to that in Lao
    Thanks, I wouldn't have known. Haaaaaaaaang on.
    Corruption, bribery, bankrupt economy, unemployment, failed health care system, failing and corrupt education system, pay to play politicians .......

    Seems very similar to those of limited knowledge.

    I'm sure there are differences, you might illustrate for record for us here on TD, if you have a moment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    Thanks, I wouldn't have known. Haaaaaaaaang on.
    Corruption, bribery, bankrupt economy, unemployment, failed health care system, failing and corrupt education system, pay to play politicians .......

    Seems very similar to those of limited knowledge.

    I'm sure there are differences, you might illustrate for record for us here on TD, if you have a moment.
    Really?
    You need me to explain the difference in the investment environment for foreigners between Lao and the U.S.
    Sure, much of a muchness.
    Fucking idiot.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cujo View Post
    Really?
    You need me to explain the difference in the investment environment for foreigners between Lao and the U.S.
    Sure, much of a muchness.
    Fucking idiot.
    And snivelling chinky sycophant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cujo View Post
    You need me to explain the difference in the investment environment for foreigners between Lao and the U.S.
    Off you go, I'm all ears. As long as your sentences contain 5 words or less, it seems to be the limit of some posters attention span.

    Last edited by OhOh; 08-04-2019 at 06:44 AM.

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    If you seriously can't figure it out yourself there would be no point my explaining it to you.
    You wouldn't understand.
    As they say, I could explain it for you but I couldn't understand it for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    Thanks, I wouldn't have known. Haaaaaaaaang on.
    Corruption, bribery, bankrupt economy, unemployment, failed health care system, failing and corrupt education system, pay to play politicians .......

    Seems very similar to those of limited knowledge.

    I'm sure there are differences, you might illustrate for record for us here on TD, if you have a moment.
    Well for starters, you could get a megaphone and yell that out in Central park and then take a trip to Tiananmen Square and do the same and see which one has the least favourable government reaction. I'd imagine you might see quite a marked difference.
    Dont worry TD wont need to crowd fund an appeal as you would still be waxing lyrical about the wonderful Chinese judicial and prison system.

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    ^ We're talking about Lao.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cujo View Post
    ^ We're talking about Lao.
    We're talking about corrupt officials selling Laos to the chinkies from under its peoples feet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    We're talking about corrupt officials selling Laos to the chinkies from under its peoples feet.
    Yes..

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