The Laos government has plans to set up a smart and eco city in its northwestern Oudomxay province within the province’s Namor district and adjoining Luang Namtha district in the province of the same name, the Vientiane Times wrote.
Thailand’s Amata Corporation, an industrial city developer, is cooperating with Oudomxay provincial authorities to kick off the project. A cooperation agreement was signed recently in the province by provincial governor Khamphan Pheuyavong and Amata’s CEO Vikrom Kromadit.
The agreement for the project called “Amata Smart and Eco City” puts into practice the memorandum of understanding signed between the Lao government and the company on April 2, 2018, to conduct a feasibility study on the development of a smart city. The project area covers 70 square kilometers which the company plans to expand by 200 square kilometers.
Under the agreement, Amata will receive land concessions to develop Namor and Luang Namtha districts into a smart city and logistics hub in line with the government’s sustainable and environmentally friendly policies to modernise communities and strengthen local livelihoods.
Amata will be responsible for doing economic and technical feasibility studies and seeking sources of funding. Domestic and overseas shareholders are expected to invest in the project this year.
Under the suggested development plan, in the first phase the developer would turn Nateuy village near the Laos-China railway and four other villages on 800 hectares of land into a logistics hub. This would serve as a regional center to link with regional and international ports like Laem Chabang in Thailand and Hai Phong in Vietnam.
In the second phase, the developer would transform Luang Namtha district into a modern city comprising 14 villages on an area of 3,700 hectares. Advanced technology would be incorporated to attract overseas investors and ensure the project develops effectively.
The smart city initiative is one of several mega development projects the government plans to undertake in 2019, deputy prime minister and minister of finance Somdy Duangdy said, noting that the smart city concept was seen as a significant intervention to bolster economic competitiveness so that Laos can attract more foreign investment.