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Surbana Jurong, Phongsavanh Group and Mekong Group team up in Laos

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The MOU was signed at the Don Chan Palace Hotel in Laos, Vientiane. From left: Yeo Choon Chong, Surbana Jurong’s deputy CEO; Thedlakhone Douangsonthi, Phongsavanh Group’s vice chairman; and Michael Aw, Mekong Group’s CEO.

Singapore’s Surbana Jurong Consultants, Mekong Group and Laos’ Phongsavanh Group have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to jointly pursue business opportunities in Laos. The agreement supports the government’s plan that will transform land-locked Laos to a land-linked one through infrastructure projects, as well as to attract investments through strategically planned townships and industrial growth clusters.

Phongsavanh Group is the master developer for an industrial zone development project covering 1,300 ha in the city of Vientiane, capital of Laos. It has been appointed and authorised by the government to drive the development of this industrial zone.

Surbana Jurong will provide its expertise in urban development studies and strategic planning. For a start, the company will develop the concept master plans for Phongsavanh Group’s Vientiane project, which is aimed to be completed by the end of the year.

Mekong Group will provide its expertise in sourcing international talents and firms to support the project. It is advising Phongsavanh Group on starting new businesses and improving current processes.

“This collaboration with Phongsavanh Group and Mekong Group will allow us to leverage each partner’s strengths as we explore other areas of cooperation, with the ultimate aim to help Laos and her people grow and prosper in a sustainable way,” said Wong Heang Fine, Surbana Jurong’s group CEO.

“We are excited to start this journey together with Surbana Jurong and Phongsavanh Group, to be the advisor for this project with Phongsavanh Group as the master developer and Surbana Jurong as the master planner. The goal is to eventually build a township and industrial park, which is strategically located near the high-speed rail station in Vientiane, a China’s Belt Road Initiative (BRI),” commented Michael Aw, Mekong Group’s CEO.

“Mekong Group’s focus in Laos is to tap BRI opportunities,” added Mr Aw. “We will act fast to secure our first-mover advantage in Laos. We will collaborate with international and Singapore firms to form a consortium to engage these opportunities.”

According to Thedlakhone Douangsonthi, vice chairman of Phongsavanh Group, the new industrial zone is expected to be an example of regional economic and industrial development, and will also serve as a pilot project to improve and develop the whole country.

“We will develop this project to international standards, by seeking experts and talents and by working with experienced and competitive companies,” said Mr Douangsonthi. “I believe this project will not only drive the development of local economies and industries, for example, to improve local infrastructure and living conditions including modernised plants, houses, apartments, schools, hotels, shopping malls, hospitals, sporting places and so on, but also provide opportunities for international investors to be successful businesses in Laos.”