Khone Phapheng Falls, a series of cascading waterfalls on the Mekong River in Khong district of southwestern Laos' Champasak province, is one of the sountry's most beautiful natural attractions (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Vientiane (VNA) – The Government of Laos has permitted a Hong Kong-based enterprise and a local private firm to invest 9 billion USD in developing a new economic zone near its shared border with Cambodia for a period of 50 years.

The Mahanathy Siphandone economic zone is located in Khong district of the southwestern province of Champassak, covering an area of 9,840 hectares.

Minister of Planning and Investment Suphan Keomixay, on the behalf of the Government of Laos, inked a memorandum of understanding on the project with the Laos Mahanathi Siphandone Investment Co. Ltd. from Hong Kong and a Lao bridge, road, and irrigation project constructor in Vientiane on June 30. Present at the event was Deputy Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone.

The project will focus on real estate development, specifically the construction of several hotels and casinos.

The development of the super project had been proposed years before it was approved by the Government in 2009. At that time, many local and international companies had shown their interest in surveying and conducting a feasibility study of the project, but all failed due to a lack of funding and experience.

Last year, China’s GuangDong Yellow River Industrial Group and the Lao company were selected to jointly study the project’s feasibility which later showed that the project would not only bring economic benefits to the country, but also ensure the rights of local people, investors, and the Government. -VNA