According to a report in the Vientiane Times, the Laos government has plans to set up a smart and eco-friendly city in the northwestern Namor district and Luang Namtha districts. Namor is located in Oudomxay province, while Luang Namtha is located in Luang Namtha province.
Thailand’s Amata Corporation, an industrial city developer, is cooperating with Oudomxay provincial authorities to develop the project and a cooperation agreement was signed recently by provincial governor Khamphan Pheuyavong and Amata’s CEO, Vikrom Kromadit.
The “Amata Smart and Eco City” project agreement will allow Amata to conduct a feasibility study on the development of a smart city that will initially covers 70 square kilometers and allows for an additional 200 square kilometers expansion in the future.
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 modernize 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 development plan, the first phase would turn five villages located on 800 hectares of land near the Laos-China railway into a regional logistics hub that will link with international ports in Thailand and 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 project to bolster economic competitiveness so that Laos can attract more foreign investment.