Malaysian banks have continued investment and expanding the number of branches in Laos as the country’s economy continued its stable growth, according to a leading Malaysian official.
Malaysian Ambassador to the Lao PDR, Mr. Dato’ Than Tai Hing made the remarks yesterday during the official opening of RHB Banking Group’s second branch at Sithan Neua village in Vientiane.
“Presently there are four Malaysian banks out of over 30 banks operating in Laos,” he pointed out
Mr Dato’ Than Tai Hing explained that with increasing competition in the Lao banking sector, Malaysian banks were intending to provide greater financial accessibility and attending to customers’ needs with the best products to meet their financial goals.
Better service in turn leads to the creation of stronger financial institutions, which is a pre-requisite to attract foreign investment, especially expanding the growth of small and medium enterprises and commercial businesses in Laos.
The growth of banking in Laos was to be applauded with the government promoting sound monetary stability, keeping inflation under control and ensuring international reserves were sufficient to cover more than five months of retained imports, MrDato’ Than Tai Hing said.
The Bank of the Lao PDR also plays a pivotal role by maintaining exchange rate stability, and implementing a consolidated monetary policy framework and continuing to create favourable conditions for financial stability in the country.
He believed the coming 50 years of Malaysia-Laos relations would bring renewed impetus to push for greater cooperation by both countries including in banking and financial services.
According to a Ministry of Planning and Investment Trade report, trade volume between Laos and Malaysia last year reached US$26.1 million which was an 8 percent increase on the previous year.
Investment by Malaysia from 2011-2015 exceeded US$569 million, ranking the country eighth largest among foreign investors in Laos.
Malaysian investment projects mainly involve the industrial, mining and energy sectors, with Laos’ economy to grow at a predicted 7.3 percent this year following seven percent last year.
Source: Vientiane Times