Surbana Jurong, partners ink MOU to develop infrastructure in Laos

Infrastructure consulting firm Surbana Jurong has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Singapore-based Mekong Group and Laos' Phongsavanh Group to develop infrastructure projects in Laos.

The partners aim to support the government's plan to transform land-locked Laos through infrastructure projects and to attract investments through strategically planned townships and industrial growth clusters, they said in a statement released on Friday.

Phongsavanh Group is the master developer for an industrial zone development project that covers 1,300ha in Laos' capital Vientiane.

Surbana Jurong will develop concept masterplans for Phongsavanh Group's Vientiane project which it aims to complete by the end of the year. Mekong Group will provide expertise in sourcing international talent and firms to support the project. It is advising Phongsavanh Group on starting new businesses and improving processes.

The MOU signing ceremony was attended by Singapore's Ambassador to Laos, Mr Dominic Goh, as well as senior government representatives from Laos.

"Laos is one of the fastest-growing economies in the region and Surbana Jurong is excited to partner Laos on its growth journey. Beyond masterplanning, Surbana Jurong's design and engineering capabilities in various sectors also complement Laos' development priorities," said Surbana Jurong group chief executive Wong Heang Fine.

Mr Michael Aw, group chief executive of Mekong Group, said: "Laos has remodelled itself into a safe, stable and peaceful nation with big ambitions. Lao PDR (People's Democratic Republic) today is counted among the world's fastest-growing economies and is set on a course of full regional and international integration.

"The goal is to eventually build a township and industrial park strategically located near the high-speed rail station in Vientiane, (part of) China's Belt and Road Initiative."

Mr Aw added that Mekong Group's focus in Laos is on tapping Belt and Road-related opportunities.

"We will act fast to secure our first-mover advantage in Laos," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 04, 2017, with the headline 'Surbana Jurong, partners ink MOU to develop infrastructure in Laos'. Print Edition | Subscribe