Agarwood products in Laos will be developed to international standard for export thanks to a new deal after local growers have struggled with marketing and the technical aspects of agarwood cultivation for many years.
Self Holding Co., Ltd (SHD) agreed last week to an exclusive partnership with Link Capital Pte. Ltd. of Singapore on the quality improvement and joint development of agarwood projects in Laos, including the allocation of 5 million agarwood trees to kickstart in 3 to 6 months under Phase 1 of the exclusive partnership with at least 1 million agarwood trees, the plan of which to produce premium Lao agarwood oud oil, positioning Lao oud oil competitively in the international market.
The agreement was signed on Thursday in Vientiane between the CEO of Self Holding Co., Ltd, Mr. Frederick Tan, and Link Capital Pte Ltd Managing Director, Mr. Denny Chong, facilitated by Chairman of the Vientiane Agriculture Promotion Association, Mr. Thongsa Sirimoungkhoun.
The event was witnessed by Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Mr. Thongphath Vongmany, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment, Dr Bounthavy Sisouphanthong, Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr. Sila Viengkeo, former Assistant Advisor to the Prime Minister’s Office and Secretary General of the Lao Union of Science and Engineering Association, Mr. Somphone Phanousith, and former official from the Ministry of National Defence, Brigadier General Bouasiang Champaphanh.
A consortium of foreign investors from Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Cambodia and China also attended the event.
This exclusive partnership brings forth funding and investment from overseas to develop agarwood in Laos with the most advanced and effective technical assistance and marketing for export.
This partnership also serves to provide coordination between the investors, the government and local farmers for mutual benefit.
Some 10 years ago, millions of agarwood trees were planted in Laos but there was a lack of improvement due to limited funding to implement the project, Mr. Tan said.
Growers became discouraged as growth of the trees was slow with low quality yields, resulting in no sustainable market supply.
He strongl y believed that this project was important for the Lao agarwood industry’s improvement to international standards and would help to increase growers’ incomes as well as contribute to Laos’ GDP.
He hoped that through the project, the improvement would also promote Laos as one of the agarwood exporting countries in the future, creating a brand name for Lao agarwood.
Over the previous year, Self Holding Co., Ltd has put in dedicated efforts and focus in the studies of technology and related equipment to be used to enhance and extract oil from agarwood trees in central Laos, especially Borikhamxay and Vientiane provinces, as well as Vientiane.
The implementation since has seen good progress and real achievements.
Last year, SHD signed a joint venture contract with Taiwan Simson Agriculture Co., Ltd and the Agriculture Promotion Association for 2 million agarwood trees under the Quality Improvement Joint Development Project.
Link Capital Pte Ltd is operating in Laos sharing the same vision and mission as SHD to assist farmers and promote Lao agarwood to the whole of the Asia Pacific, Mr. Chong said.
He hoped that Lao farmers would have a bright future and good opportunities in the years ahead.
Source: Vientiane Times
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