Laos Update: June 28, 2018

Laos Update | June 28, 2018
Authors: Matt Solomon, Ella Duangkaew, Piranat Viriyaprapaikit
 
 
THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 

Lao’s Economy to Grow as Expected

On June 5, at the 5th Ordinary Session of the National Assembly, Lao PDR Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith announced that Lao PDR’s economic growth is forecasted to reach 6.7% and a GDP of 152,436 billion kip (18 Billion USD). Agriculture is expected to rise by 2.9%, while manufacturing and service are expected to climb by 7% and 7.9% respectively for the first half of 2018.

From an extensive report, the national revenue collection is estimated to reach 12.084 billion kip (1.4 billion USD) meanwhile government spending is expected to reach 15,731 billion kip (1.87 Billion USD). Although the government had encountered budgetary difficulties at the first quarter of 2018, the government has allocated a budget of 529.76 billion kip to settle debts related to 1831 projects.

The Lao government’s dedication to pushing forward these monetary management efforts demonstrates its commitment to promoting national currency stability and economic growth. With numerous hydropower projects commencing and spurring investment projects in the Lao Special Economic Zones (SEZs), Laos is clearly looking to attract greater levels of domestic and foreign private investment to drive economic development.

National Assembly Debates Draft Law on Central Bank of Lao PDR

On June 19, members of Laos’ National Assembly gathered to debate the duties and structure of the Bank of Lao PDR's Executive Board. The debate centered over a proposed amendment to restructure the Executive Board after Assembly members' raised concerns about who should be the Governor of the Bank of Lao PDR. Mrs. Vatthana Dalaloy, the Vice Governor of the Bank of the Lao PDR, stated that the Governor must also a member of the Party Central Committee, which would mean that the Governor also assumes certain political responsibilities and greater consideration is needed when appointing such an influential position. Along with other structural adjustments, the amendment under consideration covers the entire content of the Law of the Bank of Lao PDR, which has 78 articles.

The drafting subcommittee, along with Assembly members, were also concerned with sections of the law concerning the management of micro-finance institutions and measures to prevent citizens from becoming victims of illegal business ventures. If the amendment is passed, it could generate significant changes to the country’s main financial regulator, which could also lead to changes in monetary policy and financial management.

 
IN THIS UPDATE
 
 
Regional Affairs
PM Thongloun To Attend 24th International Conference On Future Of Asia
PM Thongloun Sisoulith To Attend 8th ACMECS And CLMV 9
Lao And Chinese Ministries Pledge Strengthened Cooperation
National Steering Committee Discusses Progress In SDG Implementation
Laos, Singapore Enhance Ties, Cooperation
Laos seeks coal development cooperation with ASEAN partners

National Affairs
NA's 5th Ordinary Session Opened, Important Issues Highlighted
Laos Launches A Multi-Sectoral Priority Action Plan In Response To Violence Against Children Survey
NA Approves Two amended Laws
NA President Meets Vietnamese Vice President
Philippines President Duterte Confers Order Of Sikatuna To Lao Ambassador
Kaysone Phomvihane Announced As A City
Preparations Being Made For Celebration Of Announced City Status Of Pakse
Laos Will Rollout New and Improved Primary School Curriculum in 2019

Defense & Security
U.S. Pacific Command Deputy Commander Visits Lao P.D.R.

Economics
NA Approves Amendment To Law On Resolution Of Economic Disputes
Rising Oil Price Likely To Continue Through Year End
Khonphapheng SEZ sees govt, developer close to deal
U.S. Partners With Lao Government To Combat Money Laundering
Gov’t Raises Minimum Wage To 1.1 Million Kip

Energy
Don Sahong Project Expected To Begin Power Generation In Late 2019
Pak Lay Dam to Displace Residents in More Than 20 Villages in Northwestern Laos
Laos, Myanmar move forward in energy cooperation

Financial Services
Laos moves towards application of e-governance
Informal finance services key player in Lao banking sector: report

Food & Agriculture
WWF-Laos Continues Sustainable Rattan-Bamboo Harvesting Project
Lao Prime Minister Tightens Regulations Against Wildlife Trafficking
Lao Banana Workers Sickened by Chemicals Used on Farms
Govt announces 268-hectare botanical conservation area
Govt to create more fish conservation zones
Ginseng farmers of Laos seek international markets

Health & Life Sciences
Vaccination law safeguards, accountability sought by legislators
Sanctuaries To Promote Aquatic Animal Protection In Siphandone Area
World Wood Day 2018 Celebrated In Laos
Thai Hospital To Build Branch In Vientiane
UK lends support to malaria control
Lao drug traffickers arrested near border with Vietnam

Infrastructure
Minister Presents Amendment To Law On Civil Aviation
Vice Premier Urges No Shortcomings Occur With Laos-China Railway Project
Nation’s aviation sector requires greater transparency, Assembly hears
Mega infrastructure projects going well: Lao PM
World Highways - Plans for Laos-Vietnam highway

Manufacturing
Laos-Vietnam Expo 2018 To Be Opened On Jun 28
US Government Promotes Silk Entrepreneurship In Lao PDR
Trade fair to display best products of Vietnam, Laos

Travel & Tourism
Media’s tourism reports a focus at Mekong-Lancang Cooperation summit
Tourism officials, tour operators complete training in China
Laos to upgrade quality of tourism to meet regional standards
Tourism industry fuels economic growth in Laos
 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 
Regional Affairs

PM Thongloun To Attend 24th International Conference On Future Of Asia KPL Laos News Agency 25th Jun 2018
(KPL) Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith will attend the 24th International Conference on the Future of Asia in response to the invitation of the Japanese economic daily NIKKEI. The meeting will be held between Jun 11-12 in Tokyo, Japan under the theme “Keeping Asia Open – How to Achieve Prosperity and Stability.

PM Thongloun Sisoulith To Attend 8th ACMECS And CLMV 9 KPL Laos News Agency 25th Jun 2018
(KPL) Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith will leave Vientiane on Friday for the 8th ACMECS and 9th CLMV Summit in response to the invitation of Prime Minister of Thailand Prayut Chano-Cha and Prime Minister of Cambodia Hun Sen, who is also chairman of the 9th CLMV Summit. Both regional events will be held between Jun 15-16.

Lao And Chinese Ministries Pledge Strengthened Cooperation KPL Laos News Agency 30th May 2018
(KPL) The Ministry of Industry and Commerce of the Lao PDR and China’s Ministry of Commerce have agreed to strengthen cooperation. The statement was made at the 9th Laos-China Economic and Trade Cooperation Commission meeting held in Vientiane on May 11. The Lao side was led by Minister of Industry and Commerce Khemmany Pholsena, and Deputy Minister of Commerce of China Gao Yan.

National Steering Committee Discusses Progress In SDG Implementation KPL Laos News Agency 30th May 2018
(KPL) The 2nd meeting of the National Steering Committee on the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was held in Vientiane where progress in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals in the Lao PDR was reported. The meeting was held in Vientiane on May 24 in the presence of Minister of Foreign Affairs Saleumxay Kommasith. The Lao government has attached importance to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals by mainstreaming SDGs into the 8th Five-year Socio-economic Development plan (2016-2020) and annual national socio-economic development plans.

Laos, Singapore Enhance Ties, Cooperation KPL Laos News Agency 30th May 2018
(KPL) President Bounnhang Vorachit arrived in Singapore on Wednesday for a two-day state visit to the city country in response to the invitation of his Singaporean counterpart Halimah Yacob to enhance the longstanding relations and cooperation between the two ASEAN neighbours. This is President Bounnhang’s first visit to Singapore since he took office in April 2016. He is accompanied by his wife Khammeung Vorachit, ministers and business people.

Laos seeks coal development cooperation with ASEAN partners Xinhua 30th May 2018
VIENTIANE, May 18 (Xinhua) -- Laos is looking forward to greater cooperation with its Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) partners to solve the challenging issues on coal development as part of support for the region's economic growth, government officials said. The remarks were made by Head of Office of the Ministry of Energy and Mines Daovong Phonekeo, at the 16th ASEAN Forum on Coal Council Meeting in Lao capital Vientiane, Local daily Vientiane Times reported Friday. The Council is actively promoting the development and utilization of cleaner coal technologies in the ASEAN member states. Council members expressed their commitment to supporting and implementing the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation program on Clean Coal Technology.

National Affairs

NA's 5th Ordinary Session Opened, Important Issues Highlighted KPL Laos News Agency 25th Jun 2018
(KPL) The Fifth Ordinary Session of the National Assembly (8th legislature) was officially opened in Vientiane on June 5 in the presence of President Bounnhang Vorachit and President of the National Assembly Pany Yathortou, and people’s representatives. Vice President Phankham Viphavanh, Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, cabinet members of the government, lawmakers and representatives of relevant sectors also attended the opening ceremony. The National Assembly Ordinary Session will be held through 28, 2018.

Laos Launches A Multi-Sectoral Priority Action Plan In Response To Violence Against Children Survey KPL Laos News Agency 25th Jun 2018
(KPL) More 200 government officials and representatives of international organizations joined the launching of the Government’s Multi-sectoral Priority Action Plan in response to the Violence against Children Survey, and the Children’s Forum in Vientiane on May 31. The launch event witnessed the presence of Deputy Prime Minister and President of the National Commission for the Advancement of Women, Mothers and Children Sonexay Siphandone.

NA Approves Two amended Laws KPL Laos News Agency 25th Jun 2018
(KPL) The National Assembly approved on Wednesday, Jun 20, 2018 amendments to the Law on Value Added Tax and the Law on Lao Front for National Development. “The amendments to the Law on Value Added Tax aim to ensure value added tax management, monitoring and inspection is effective; promote commercial production, services, investment and export, increasing government revenues, and creating favourable conditions for national integration into regional and international communities as well as the national socio-economic development,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Somdy Douangdy.

NA President Meets Vietnamese Vice President KPL Laos News Agency 25th Jun 2018
(KPL) President of the National Assembly Pany Yathortou received on Wednesday met with Vice President of Vietnam Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh on the occasion of her visit to the Lao PDR between Jun 19-22 in response to the invitation of Vice President Phankham Viphavanh. NA President highly valued the visit by the Vietnamese Vice President. The visit to Laos is the first overseas trip for the Vietnamese Vice President since she was appointed to the post in April 2016.

Philippines President Duterte Confers Order Of Sikatuna To Lao Ambassador KPL Laos News Agency 30th May 2018
(KPL) Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte conferred on May 28 the Order of Sikatuna to outgoing Lao Ambassador to the Philippines Phoxay Khaykhamphithoune in Malacañan Palace. The citation recognizes ‘his meritorious contributions in further strengthening the relations between the Republic of the Philippines and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and his commitment efforts in further intensifying cooperation between the two countries to advance peace, progress and prosperity in the two countries and in the region.

Kaysone Phomvihane Announced As A City KPL Laos News Agency 30th May 2018
(KPL) Authorities and people of Savannakhet held a ceremony on May 25 to announce the city status of Kaysone Phomvihane and celebrated the 1,000,000th child of the province at the Kaysone Phomvihane Memorial. Translate into reality the resolution of 10th National Congress of Lao People’s Revolutionary Party Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith issued last month three decrees approving the upgrading of three districts to cities including Luang Prabang of Luang Prabang Province, Kaysone Phomvihane of Savannakhet Province and Pakse of Champassak Province.

Preparations Being Made For Celebration Of Announced City Status Of Pakse KPL Laos News Agency 30th May 2018
(KPL) Pakse authorities in southernmost province Champassak are expected to celebrate the announcement of Pakse district as a city on May 31. Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith issued last month three decrees approving the upgrading of three districts to cities including Luang Prabang of Luang Prabang Province, Kaysone Phomvihane of Savannakhet Province and Pakse of Champassak Province. To be classified as a city, a municipality must have a population of at least 60,000 and be financially self sufficient with regard to administration costs.

Laos Will Rollout New and Improved Primary School Curriculum in 2019 The Laotian Times 30th May 2018
Since 2015, the Ministry of Education and Sports (MOES) has been in the process of revising the country’s national curriculum and developing new textbooks, teacher guides and other resources for primary schools. On Wednesday, Associate Professor Khamphay Sisavanh, Vice-Minister for Education and Sports and Mr Andreas Zurbrugg, Deputy Head of Mission of the Australian Embassy co-chaired the Primary Curriculum Steering Committee’s inaugural meeting to familiarize MoES Departments with the new primary curriculum, including key changes, teacher guides and teaching materials.

Defense & Security

U.S. Pacific Command Deputy Commander Visits Lao P.D.R. KPL Laos News Agency 30th May 2018
(KPL) A bilateral meeting between the delegation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Laos and that of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia was held on May 16 in Vientiane. The Lao side was led by Minister of Foreign Affairs Saleumxay Kommasith, and the Cambodian delegation was headed by Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn.

Economics

NA Approves Amendment To Law On Resolution Of Economic Disputes KPL Laos News Agency 26th Jun 2018
(KPL) Members of the National Assembly on Jun 22 approved amendment to the Law on Resolution of Economic Disputes to promote creating favourable conditions for investment. “After the approval of amendment to this law by the National Assembly, the policy and mechanisms will be implemented to ensure economic disputes are solved in a prompt manner and in a way realistic to the current socio-economic growth,” said Minister of Justice Xaysy Santivong.

Rising Oil Price Likely To Continue Through Year End KPL Laos News Agency 25th Jun 2018
(KPL) Oil price in the world market is likely to continue increasing through the end of this year as a group of oil exporting countries-OPEC – is expected to decrease production by 1.8 million barrels per day until the end of 2018. “Today, the main oil producer is OPEC comprising oil producing countries in the middle-east and South America. Their production represents 44% of the global market and they have a crude oil reserve representing 73% of the world reserve,” said Mr Vilayvong Boutdakham, President, Committee on Planning, Finance and Inspection, National Assembly.

Khonphapheng SEZ sees govt, developer close to deal Vientiane Times 25th Jun 2018
The government and a Chinese investor are finalising details of a concession agreement for the planned Khonphapheng Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in the far south of Champassak province. Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith told the National Assembly’s ongoing session in Vientiane recently that the government will in due course sign the deal with the developer for this project. Nevertheless, the PM did not give any details about the timeframe when exactly the concession agreement will be signed and the benefits for the country.

U.S. Partners With Lao Government To Combat Money Laundering KPL Laos News Agency 25th Jun 2018
(KPL) Between Jun 13-20, 2018, the U.S. government collaborated with Lao partners to hold trainings on anti-money laundering in two different provinces. The “Investigative Techniques Workshop on Prosecuting Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism” were held in partnership with the Anti-Money Laundering Intelligence Office (AMLIO) of the Lao PDR and the U.S. Defense Institute for International Legal Studies (DIILS).

Gov’t Raises Minimum Wage To 1.1 Million Kip KPL Laos News Agency 30th May 2018
(KPL) The government has approved workers’ monthly minimum wage of 1.1 million kip, an increase of 11 per cent from 900,000 kip, according to the announcement of Prime Minister’s Office No. 560, dated April 20, 2018. “The minimum wage increase will take effect from May 1, 2018,” Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Sompheng Xaysompheng told a press conference in Vientiane on Apr 30, 2018. Minister Sompheng justified the raise of the minimum wage by claiming the fact that the country and the region have recorded an increase economic growth and, consequently, higher cost of living over the past couple of years.

Energy

Don Sahong Project Expected To Begin Power Generation In Late 2019 Laos News Agency 30th May 2018
(KPL) The 260-mw Don Sahong hydropower dam, which is a roller-compact dam – RCC – with a designed annual power output of 2,000 Gwh, is expected to begin generating electricity by the end of 2019. Once fully completed and put into operation, the dam will ease power shortage in southern provinces including Champassak, a fast growing province of Laos. A huge amount of generated power will be exported to neighbouring Thailand and Cambodia.

Pak Lay Dam to Displace Residents in More Than 20 Villages in Northwestern Laos Radio Free Asia 21st Jun 2018
At least 1,000 families from 20-some villages in northwestern Laos’ Xayaburi province will be forced to relocate if infrastructure officials move ahead with plans to build a fourth hydropower dam on the Lower Mekong River, a provincial official said Monday. The Pak Lay hydropower project is located downstream of the Xayaburi dam, which is now in the final stages of completion. It will be built approximately 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the Thai border. Daovong Phonekeo, director of policy and energy planning at the Ministry of Energy and Mines, told RFA on June 15 that officials have not yet started the process of consultation prior to construction of the Pak Lay dam. The 1995 Mekong Agreement — signed by the governments of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam — requires the countries to follow procedures for notification and prior consultation for hydropower dam projects on the Mekong River, such as conducting transboundary impact assessments and holding discussions among member countries.

Laos, Myanmar move forward in energy cooperation Eleven Myanmar 31st May 2018
Laos and Myanmar have taken another step towards implementing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on power cooperation that was signed in January this year.

Financial Services

Laos moves towards application of e-governance vietnamnews.vn 20th Jun 2018
The application of blockchain, specifically digital identity, will bring huge benefits to the Lao government and citizens, said BoviengkhamVongdara, minister of science and technology. He made this statement at the Lao Blockchain Forum 2018 held in Vientiane on Tuesday. According to him, the adoption of Blockchain Technology will allow the Lao citizens access to various public services.

Informal finance services key player in Lao banking sector: report - Xinhua | English.news.cn Xinhua 25th Jun 2018
VIENTIANE, June 20 (Xinhua) -- Informal finance services continue to be a key player in the Lao banking sector despite the rapid growth of legal micro-finance institutes across the country, local daily Vientiane Times on Wednesday quoted a World Bank report as saying. The international financial institute's mid-year economic monitoring report for the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), released last week, highlighted the overall economic development in the landlocked country. The expansion of the Lao banking sector was discussed in the latest update.

Food & Agriculture

WWF-Laos Continues Sustainable Rattan-Bamboo Harvesting Project KPL Laos News Agency 25th Jun 2018
(KPL) The National Agriculture and Forest Research Institute (NAFRI) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Laos) signed Memorandum of Understanding on Sustainable Rattan-Bamboo Harvesting and Production Project Phase V for the period of three year (2018-2020) in 28 villages of Bolikhamxay, Xekong and Saravan Provinces. The MOU was signed on Jun 11, 2018 at the NAFRI between Mr Somphone Bouasavanh, Country Director of WWF-Laos and Mr Chanhsamone Phongoudome, Director General of NAFRI in the presence of relevant officials of both sides

Lao Prime Minister Tightens Regulations Against Wildlife Trafficking The Laotian Times 31st May 2018
Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith has issued an order to tighten regulations against hunting and trade of protected wildlife. Individuals or groups that breach the order are to be arrested and prosecuted. The PM issued the Order for Increased Stringency in Management and Inspection of Protected Wild Fauna and Flora, No. 05/PM, on 08 May this year. The order was issued to tighten implementation of forest plant and wildlife protection, especially those species which are classified as endangered. The order is intended to ensure measures are compliant with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Fora (CTIES) to which the Lao PDR is a party.

Lao Banana Workers Sickened by Chemicals Used on Farms Radio Free Asia 30th May 2018
Lao workers at Chinese-operated banana plantations are falling ill in large numbers from exposure to chemicals used on the farms, with many suffering from respiratory or liver problems, sources in the Southeast Asian nation say. Lao government orders began closing down the environmentally destructive farms in the country’s northern provinces in January 2017, with the ban shuttering the commercial operations when their contracts expire and forbidding new contracts from being signed.

Govt announces 268-hectare botanical conservation area Vientiane Times 18th Jun 2018
The government has announced the establishment of the Huaynhang forestry conservation area in Dongmakkhai village, Xaythany district, Vientiane, with the aim of creating a protected forest area free from encroachment. A ceremony to officially announce the 268-hectare Dongmakkhai Botanical Garden took place in the village on Saturday morning.

Govt to create more fish conservation zones Vientiane Times 18th Jun 2018
The depletion of fish stocks across Laos has led the government to increase the number of conservation zones in a move to sustain the fish population. Experts have attributed the decline in fish stocks over past decades to destructive methods of fishing, pollution, and a growing population.

Ginseng farmers of Laos seek international markets Borneo Bulletin 29th May 2018
Growers of what is commonly called the ‘Dakcheung herb’ in Dakcheung district, Xekong province, are on the lookout for export markets after local authorities confirmed the quality of the plant was good enough for export. Elsewhere, the oval-shaped root is known as ginseng and is among the most popular herbal remedies, with claims made for a vast range of medicinal benefits. At present only one entrepreneur in the province is buying this root to use in soap and tea for domestic supply only, Dakcheung district Governor Laysouan Mithsouvanh told Vientiane Times last week.

Health & Life Sciences

Vaccination law safeguards, accountability sought by legislators Vientiane Times 25th Jun 2018
Potential side effects from vaccinations and responsibility for same was a topic of attention by National Assembly members at a debate on the newly drafted Law on Vaccination yesterday. Vaccination is compulsory public health good and involves campaigns in which both public and private sectors participate. NA members observed that responsibilities for any negative result of vaccination on a patient such as side effects or adverse patient reactions are absent in the drafted law.

Sanctuaries To Promote Aquatic Animal Protection In Siphandone Area KPL Laos News Agency 25th Jun 2018
(KPL) A project on sustainable exploitation of fish and other aquatic animals in Siphandone area is expected to help strengthen the abundance of aquatic animals and ecosystem in southern Laos province Champassak. This project which is in its second phase is implemented by WWF-Laos in cooperation with the Champassak Provincial Department of Agriculture and Forestry. It focuses on establishing sanctuaries for aquatic animals in Siphandone area to promote the protection and breeding of aquatic animals in the Mekong.

World Wood Day 2018 Celebrated In Laos KPL Laos News Agency 25th Jun 2018
(KPL) The Lao Government, the World Wood Day Foundation and the International Wood Culture Society joined here in Vientiane to mark the World Wood Day 2018 on Mar 29. Held at the Lao International Exhibition and Convention Centre – Lao-ITECC, the celebration saw the presence of Vice President Phankham Viphavanh, Vice Chairman of the Lao National Assembly, Lt. Gen. Sengnouane Xayalath and the Chairman of International Wood Culture Society Chung-Youn Hse.

Thai Hospital To Build Branch In Vientiane KPL Laos News Agency 30th May 2018
(KPL) Kasemrad International Hospital, affiliated to Bangkok Chain Hospital Public, held a groundbreaking ceremony for its first Vientiane-based branch last Friday. The ceremony took place in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone and Director General of Bangkok Chain Hospital Public Chalerm Harnphanich. The new hospital will be built in Sisattanak district at a cost of more than US$70 million over the next eight years.

UK lends support to malaria control Vientiane Times 30th May 2018
The United Kingdom’s Comic Relief charity is providing over US$700,000 from 2018 to 2020 to help prevent and control malaria in three provinces of Laos. An agreement for the project was signed yesterday by the Director General of the Department of Communicable Diseases Control, Ministry of Health, Dr Rattanaxay Phetsouvanh, and Comic Relief, United Kingdom and Health Poverty Action (HPA) Country Director, Mr Ronaldo Estera.

Lao drug traffickers arrested near border with Vietnam VOV 12th Jun 2018
Three Lao nationals were caught red-handed trafficking 10 bricks of heroin, 31,000 meth pills, 2 kg of opium and four guns near the shared border with Vietnam on June 11. The three men were found trading drugs in a village in May district, the Lao province of Phongsaly, which shares the border with Vietnam’s northern mountainous province of Dien Bien during a joint operation between the two provinces’ armed forces. They are alleged to be drug wholesalers and have transported drugs from Laos to Vietnam.

Infrastructure

Minister Presents Amendment To Law On Civil Aviation KPL Laos News Agency 27th Jun 2018
(KPL) Amendment to the Law on Civil Aviationwas presented at the ongoing 5th Ordinary Session of the National Assembly on Jun 26. The amendment is expected to be approved in coming days. Civil aviation refers to activities relating to the operation of aircraft for the purpose of transporting passengers, baggage, cargo and mail, conducting surveys, scientific research, and activities in the areas of agriculture and forestry, education, culture, health, sports, search and rescue and other civil activities, according to the current Law on Aviation.

Vice Premier Urges No Shortcomings Occur With Laos-China Railway Project KPL Laos News Agency 27th Jun 2018
(KPL) Vice Premier Bounthong Chitmany has urged military and police officers serving on the Laos-China Construction Project to make sure that there are no shortcomings occurring with the project. Giving guidance talks to a meeting on the coordination between military and police officers for the Laos-China Railway Project in Luang Prabang on Jun 22, Mr Bounthong, also chairman of the Party Central Inspection Committee and the State Inspection Authority, asked the Lao-China Railway Project committee and relevant authorities as well as contractors to make sure that they have effective coordination mechanisms established and each of them fulfills their duties effectively thus ensuring the project is implemented successfully.

Nation’s aviation sector requires greater transparency, Assembly hears Vientiane Times 26th Jun 2018
National Assembly (NA) members have proposed for the circumstances around the business of the national civil aviation to be opened for the Assembly through the enforcement of the Law on Civil Aviation. National Committee on civil aviation security, drone management were also among the top issues at the legislative debate on the Law on Civil Aviation. Assembly members made proposals at the debate on amendments to the ten-year-old law yesterday. Several NA members present at the debate sought clarification about the current status and performance of Lao Airlines as the national civil airline.

Mega infrastructure projects going well: Lao PM - China.org.cn Xinhua 25th Jun 2018
VIENTIANE, June 22 (Xinhua) -- Presenting the socio-economic development report to the ongoing fifth Ordinary Session of the National Assembly's eighth legislature, Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith said action is being intensified to realize the benefits of mega infrastructure projects, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Friday. "These included many national highways and roads and rail to connect with the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative," the report reads.

World Highways - Plans for Laos-Vietnam highway AEC News Today 6th Jun 2018
Plans are being drawn up in Laos for the new highway connecting its capital Vientiane with Hanoi, the capital of neighbouring Vietnam. The project is expected to cost in excess of US$4.5 billion, with much of the Laos section of the route running parallel to the existing Road N0 13 South. The route will be 707km long, crossing the border between Namphao in Laos and Cau Treo in Vietnam. Three potential routes have been evaluated for the highway in Laos and two in Vietnam but the most costly have already been rejected. It now looks as if the route through Borikhamxay Province in Laos is favoured. And for Vietnam, the route through Nghe An Province is seen as more suitable, due in part to its lower cost. Financing for the project has yet to be finalised.

Manufacturing

Laos-Vietnam Expo 2018 To Be Opened On Jun 28 KPL Laos News Agency 27th Jun 2018
(KPL) Laos-Vietnam Expo 2018 will be held between Jun 28 and Jul 2 at Lao ITECC, Vientiane. The expo will feature more than 320 booths of consumer’s goods and electronics, among others. The event will be held by Department of Trade Promotion under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce in cooperation with the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of National Defense of Laos, and the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam.

US Government Promotes Silk Entrepreneurship In Lao PDR KPL Laos News Agency 25th Jun 2018
(KPL) The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, provided training on natural dyeing and digital marketing for women-owned businesses from May 28-Jun 15, 2018 in Xieng Khuang and Huaphan provinces. More than 50 women entrepreneurs participated in the 3-week training courses, where they learned how to improve product quality and increase sales in both domestic and international markets.

Trade fair to display best products of Vietnam, Laos vietnamplus.vn 25th Jun 2018
Vientiane (VNA) – More than 120 businesses and units of Vietnam and Laos will showcase their best products at the Vietnam-Laos Trade Fair 2018 in the Lao capital city of Vientiane from June 28 to July 2. The information was released at a press conference held by the countries’ ministries of industry and trade and the ministries of denfence in Vientiane on June 25. 

Travel & Tourism

Media’s tourism reports a focus at Mekong-Lancang Cooperation summit Vientiane Times 27th Jun 2018
Regional news media personnel will benefit from three-day talks with Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS)’s counterparts in the capital on topics including new media and how to best report and promote the region’s tourism industry. Lao Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism (MICT) in cooperation with China People’s Daily Newspaper will host the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (MLC) Media Forum from July 1-3. Representatives of some 39 media agencies from China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam will attend.

Tourism officials, tour operators complete training in China Vientiane Times 25th Jun 2018
Thirty-six tourism officials and tour operators from Laos completed a training programme in China last week that is part of measures to improve and develop human resources in the tourism sector. According to a report from the Institute of Mass Media, Culture and Tourism under the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, the 5th China-Laos officials and tourism enterprise executives exchange and training programme was held in Yunnan province of China during June 12-23. The programme was organised by the Yunnan College of Tourism with the support of the China National Tourism Administration and Yunnan Provincial Tourism Development Commission.

Laos to upgrade quality of tourism to meet regional standards Inquirer.net 6th Jun 2018
VIENTIANE — The Lao tourism industry is moving forward with plans to upgrade the standards of staff working in tourism-related areas so they can compete with their counterparts on the Asean and international stages. This was the message generated last week by a Lao delegation from the Mass Media, Culture and Tourism Institute when attending the Regional Workshop for the Development of Asean Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Tourism Professionals (MRA-TP) Work Plan 2018-2022.

Tourism industry fuels economic growth in Laos The Nation 4th Jun 2018
The Lao tourism industry is not only playing a significant role in boosting economic growth, but is also creating a huge number of job opportunities for local people, experts have noted. The United Nations’ World Travel and Tourism Council unveiled its latest report recently, which indicated that tourism has directly resulted in 114,000 jobs being created in Laos. This is expected to rise to 121,000 jobs in 2028, which will represent about 3 per cent of total employment. As a whole, tourism and related services have generated more than 385,000 jobs in the country, helping to improve per-capita income for the Lao people, particularly the poor.