That Luang Lake Special Economic Zone is a massive project driven by Chinese investor Shanghai Wanfeng Group. Two ceremonies were recently hold for the launching of the zone administration office and the opening of the first luxury hotel in the area.
That Luang Lake Special Economic Zone in Vientiane outskirts generated controversies when the project started back to 2011 as it stands in the vicinity of That Luang stupa, one of the most revered monuments of the Laotian capital.
The economic zone in Vientiane is part of 10 economic zones opened to investors since 2003. Zones are seeking domestic and international investors through tax and duty incentives as part of a bid to promote infrastructure development, employment and production in the regions they are located. Concessions were previously provided for 99 years but after 2016, an amended law gives concession only for 50 years, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
In Vientiane, the $1.7 billion That Luang Lake residential and commercial complex covers 365 hectares and included the clearing and relocation of eight former villages in the centre of the capital city. Instead of the villages, Shanghai Wanfeng Group’s project will include -once completed- a public park, sports complex, a shopping mall and department store, hospitals and schools as well as an entertainment complex, condominiums and hotels. The zone is expected to draw over 300,000 business people, job seekers and residents.
“Motivated by the investment promotion policy of the Lao PDR and the Belt and Road Initiative of President Xi Jinping, our company has confidently invested in the Lao PDR, in this project,” said Wang Guaping, Chairman of the That Luang Lake Specific Economic Zone. “In the future, the That Luang Lake Specific Economic Zone will become a new city that meets international standards and a new symbol of this Southeast Asian capital city,” he added.
The groundbreaking ceremony on November 5 for the administration office of the That Luang Lake Specific Economic Zone, the opening of the luxury Qube Hotel and an international wholesales market of agricultural products were witnessed by Vientiane Mayor Sinlavong Khouthphaythoune, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Khamchan Vongsenboune, Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Savankhone Razmountry along with relevant officials of Laos and China.
The Qube Suites Hotel had its soft opening last June. It offers 238 apartment-suites, two restaurants, free private parking, an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness center. The property also has a garden as well as a terrace with sweeping views on That Luang stupa, a three-minute walk. The property is located 2.9 km away from Lao-ITEC Exhibition Centre which can be reached in 15 minutes.