CDB provides $79.96 million resource-backed loan for National Stadium Construction Project
Constant 2017 USD
Funding agency [Type]
China Development Bank (CDB) [State-owned Policy Bank]
Lao People's Democratic Republic
Other social infrastructure and services (Code: 160)
In September 2007, China Development Bank and the Government of Laos signed a resource-backed loan agreement for the National Stadium Construction Project. The borrowing terms of the loan are unknown. The purpose of the project was to construct a sporting complex in the Viangchan prefecture within capital city of Vientiane — including a stadium with seating capacity for 20,000 spectators, two 3,000-seat gymnasiums, a swimming pool with seating capacity for 20,000 spectators, a warm-up pool, a tennis center, a 50-meter indoor shooting range, and outdoor training grounds — as the venue for the 25th Southeast Asian Games in December 2009. Yunnan Construction Engineering Group was the EPC contractor responsible for implementation. A formal groundbreaking ceremony took place on April 3, 2007 and construction began on October 28, 2007. The project passed an on-site inspection in December 2008 and construction ended on March 31, 2009. The project was officially completed and handed over to the local authorities on September 22, 2009. In support of the project, the Chinese Government also reportedly dispatched coaches and supplied various types of sporting equipment. The 25th Southeast Asian Games were successfully held in Vientiane in December 2009. However, this project was plagued by controversy when reports emerged that CDB issued the loan for the construction of the stadium on the condition that Suzhou Industrial Park Overseas Investment Company be granted access to a 50-year lease and the ability to develop an area of Vientiane into the ‘Vientiane New City’ project. According to a report from the New York Times, “[a] public backlash [in 2008] over the financing of the Chinese stadium complex in Vientiane was considered by many as a milestone in public dissent toward the traditionally autocratic government. When rumors circulated that as part of the deal 50,000 Chinese would move into the Chinese-built industrial zone in Vientiane, government ministers were forced to call a news conference — a rare event for the Communist hierarchy. Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad, who is ethnically Chinese, explained details of the plan: […] China Development Bank would finance the main sports complex in exchange for 1,600 hectares of land on the outskirts of Vientiane, which a Chinese company would convert into what was called the ‘New City Development Project.’ The government said it would lease the land for 50 years to Chinese developers with a possibility of an extension. But the announcement only served to kindle opposition to the plan. Farmers who lived on the land and wealthy residents who lived nearby commonly derided the project as ‘Chinese City,’ a term with a pejorative ring in a country where Chinese businesses have mushroomed in recent years. In August 2008 the [Lao government] backed down and said the Chinese government would only receive 200 hectares, a small fraction of the original deal. More than a year later the [Lao government] refuses to divulge how it is compensating the Chinese government, which according to Laotian state media paid the full cost of the stadium complex.
This project is also known as The New National Stadium Project for Hosting the 25th SEA Games in 2009. The Chinese project title is 老挝新国家体育场 or 老挝第25届东南亚运动会场馆项目 or 2009年老挝第25届东南亚运动会场馆建设项目. The CDB loan that supported this project is not included in the Overseas Development Finance Dataset that Boston University’s Global Development Policy Center published in December 2020. One official source (http://la.mofcom.gov.cn/article/jmxw/200909/20090906536229.shtml) indicates that the CDB loan was provided on a resources-for-funds (“资源换资金”) basis. However, it is unclear if the loan was repaid with or collateralized against the proceeds for the sales of natural resources (e.g. from the country’s potash and bauxite mines). This issue merits further investigation.
Number of official sources
Number of unofficial sources
Receiving agencies [Type]
Government of Laos [Government Agency]
Implementing agencies [Type]
Suzhou Industrial Park Overseas Investment Company [No Organization Type Specified]; Yunnan Construction Engineering Group Corporation (YNJG) [State-owned Company]
1,600 hectares of land on the outskirts of Vientiane