Laos government sued over investment 'misconduct'

Discussion in 'Laos - General Discussion Forum' started by brian_bkk, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer Staff Member

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-08-17/an-lao-govt-sued-over-investment-misconduct/4206256

    The Lao are learning fast from the Thai's...

    A Macau-based company is suing the Laotian Government over what it claims is the illegal taking of a $400 million dollar investment.

    Sanum Investments is behind several hotel and casino projects in Laos, including Savan Vegas in Savannakhet.

    The company says it invested in Laos in good faith and accuses the government of breaking its promise to protect foreign investors against "greed and exploitation."

    Sanum says the government is guilty of misconduct for allowing a well-connected Laos family and their companies to seize control of Sanum's prize asset, the Thanaleng Slot Machine Club, located close to the capital, Vientiane.

    Further accusations centre on a retroactive $23 million tax bill, and the arbitrary revoking of licences and concessions worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

    The claims will be handled by the World Bank's International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes using treaties signed by Laos.

    Sanum's president Jody Jordahl says the company has been left with no other option, after taking "every possible step" inside Laos to negotiate a settlement.

    "We've met with our minority partners, we've met with the government, we've gone through the office of economic dispute resolution, which is what's called for in the dispute resolution clause and we've gone through the courts and unfortunately have gotten nowhere," he told Radio Australia's Connect Asia.

    Mr Jordhal says he is confident the World Bank's tribunal will return a favourable verdict, but hopes an agreement can still be reached without arbitration.

    "We hope the government steps up and recognises its responsibility and helps us fix the issues that have come up in Laos," he said.

    "If not, we'll certainly pursue these arbitrations (sic) to their final settlement phase.

    "This (is) really a key issue for all investors throughout the region, because if this is the way that our government treats foreign investors and honours its international obligation, then it's not a safe environment for the international investment community, so it's an important topic for everyone."

    The Laos Government has declined Connect Asia's request for an interview or statement on the matter.
     
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  3. speedybuffalo

    speedybuffalo Active Member

    finally someones dares .... to address the hungry attitudes of neighboring power-holders. And the discrepancy between written law and practiced justice.
     
  4. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    2013-1014 - Bernama - Lao Holdings and Sanum: International Tribunal Prevents Laos Government from Seizing Investor's Property

    http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v7/newsindex.php?id=985512

    Lao Holdings and Sanum: International Tribunal Prevents Laos Government from Seizing Investor's Property

    KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 14 (Bernama)-- Following a hearing held in London on 2 September 2013, members of an international arbitral tribunal have recently ordered the Government of Laos not to seize assets or take other adverse actions that would aggravate a dispute between Netherlands-based Lao Holdings, N.V. and Laos, pending resolution of that dispute. Among other things, the award of provisional measures against Laos prevents the Lao Government from seizing a resort hotel and casino in Savannakhet, Savan Vegas, from further interfering with the business operations of Lao Holdings and its subsidiaries, and from implementing a new, confiscatory 80% tax on gross casino revenue. The tribunal's order, issued on 17 September 2013, marks the first time the Lao Government has been ordered in an investment treaty arbitration to cease interference in the affairs of a foreign investor
     

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