Boten, once a remote village on the China-Laos border, has gone from boom to bust within a few short years and is now preparing for another boom. The village’s development began in 2003 when a casino was built there by Hong Kong developers.
This attracted thousands of visitors who poured across the border from Yunnan province. The village was renamed Boten Golden City as business boomed. However, in 2011 the casino was shut down by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Most businesses closed and Boten became a virtual ghost town. But now Boten’s star is rising again, as it is being developed into the Mohan-Boten Economic Cooperation Zone and become once more a bustling centre of activity. The agreement to establish the Mohan-Boten Economic Cooperation Zone was signed by the Chinese and Laotian governments.
The development will cover 1,640 hectares and is being developed by two Chinese companies — Yunnan Hai Cheng Industrial Group Stock Co, Ltd. and Hong Kong Fuk Hing Travel Entertainment Group Ltd. The developers plan four mega-projects in the zone including a duty-free centre, bus station complex, warehousing and a resort.