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Laos Government Draws Up Master Plan To Develop Mass Media

The Lao Government has developed its master plan to develop the country's mass media.

The Lao Government has developed its master plan to develop the country's mass media. The government had been setting aside some money from its budget to improve and expand the mass media of the country. It also recently passed a new media law that should boost support for the development of this sector. The focus is on improving the quality of information services, getting linked to overseas news networks, and expanding media services to the rural areas. Moreover, one of the important goals is to switch from analog to a digital system by 2015.

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ADB Grants $20 Million For Laos Sustainable Natural Resource Management Project

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide US$20 million in grant aid to the Sustainable Natural Resource Management and Productivity Enhancement Project.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide US$20 million in grant aid to the Sustainable Natural Resource Management and Productivity Enhancement Project. The project aims to help the government protect the country's rich and diverse natural resources from commercial development in the five southern provinces of Savannakhet, Sekong, Saravan, Champassak and Attapeu. The project is co-financed on a grant basis by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) of $15 million. Moreover, the Government of Japan's Special Fund, which is managed by the ADB, will also provide $700,000 to go into training resources to support the project.

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Laos: Trade With Vietnam To Reach $1 Billion by 2010

The Lao government is expecting the trade between Laos and Vietnam to increase from $423 million in 2008 to $1 billion by 2010 after the two countries signed a new agreement on cross-border procedures in Vientiane last week.

The Lao government is expecting the trade between Laos and Vietnam to increase from $423 million in 2008 to $1 billion by 2010 after the two countries signed a new agreement on cross-border procedures in Vientiane last week. The agreement is part of their effort to facilitate trade between the two countries by reducing the existing documentary inspecting processes. Now, only a single goods declaration form is needed by the owners to be shown to inspectors to verify that the shipment is destined to third countries and the 10 ASEAN nations and not meant for Laos and Vietnam, removing the possibility that inspects will impose taxes on those goods.

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Laos: World Tourism Authority Gives $24,000 To Xekong Province

The World Tourism Authority gave $24,000 for the construction of a tourist village in Kandone village, Thataeng district, Xekong province.

The World Tourism Authority gave $24,000 for the construction of a tourist village in Kandone village, Thataeng district, Xekong province. The money will be used to construct a four kilometer road, to install electricity to 99 households, to build a water supply system, to build a traditional shop and guesthouse, to fund a guide training course for villagers, and to pay a weaver to teach the villages how to weave. Kandone was chosen for the construction of a tourist village because it is known for its weaving methods, handicrafts, and the culture of the Katou ethnic group.

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Laos: MOF To Tap Into Singapore Expertise In Public Finance Modernisation

The Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE) and the World Bank recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to provide technical assistance to the Lao Ministry of Finance (MOF).

The Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE) and the World Bank recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to provide technical assistance to the Lao Ministry of Finance (MOF). The MOU formalizes the partner collaboration on a Public Finance Modernisation and Governance Programme (PFMGP), with a grant amount of $752,000. The programme is part of an overall effort by the Lao government to strengthen its public financial management and aid effectiveness in the country.

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Laos: Minimum Wage Rises By 20%

The government has increased the minimum wage for workers by 20 percent, from 290,000 kip to 348,000 kip.

The government has increased the minimum wage for workers by 20 percent, from 290,000 kip to 348,000 kip. The wage increase, while lower than the 2008 proposal of the Lao Federation of Trade Unions to the National Assembly of 700,000 kip, is expected to mainly benefit workers in the garment industry, who mostly get a minimum wage. To help employers mitigate the rise in costs from the minimum wage increase, the government also reduced the rate of tax on the profit from 35 percent to 20 percent.

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Laos: South Korea Gives More Than US$4 million for Canals

South Korea will provide Laos with $4.9 million directed at the construction of two irrigation canals, vastly improving Laos' facilities for agricultural production.

South Korea will provide Laos with $4.9 million directed at the construction of two irrigation canals, vastly improving Laos' facilities for agricultural production. The project should reach completion by 2011, and is expected to help over 1,000 farmers in the region. This aid is a part of South Korea's efforts to help Laos become a developed country by 2020.

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Vietnamese Prime Minister to Attend Economic Conference in Laos

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung is expected to attend the Greater Mekong Sub-region Summit (GMS) in Laos March 30-31.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung is expected to attend the Greater Mekong Sub-region Summit (GMS) in Laos March 30-31. The summit's theme, "Enhancement of Competitiveness via Greater Connectivity," will focus on boosting cooperation and transport between public and private sectors and to develop investment and trade in the Greater Mekong region. Aside from Vietnam and Laos, leaders from GMS members – Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar and China will be in attendance.

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Vietnam Invests Nearly USD 600 Million in Laos

Since 1989 Vietnam has invested roughly USD 600 million in Laos according to the Lao Planning and Investment Ministry.

Since 1989 Vietnam has invested roughly USD 600 million in Laos according to the Lao Planning and Investment Ministry. The projects primarily focus on agriculture, industry, handicraft, garments, banking, energy, and hotel-restaurant businesses. The mining sector has accounted for 15 projects worth an estimated USD 33 million, while the agro-forestry industry has 25 projects worth USD 117 million. The energy sector has been the primary area of investment with two hydropower plants attracting nearly USD 270 million.

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Sweden Leaves Laos

Sweden has decided to close their embassy in Laos on Aug 15, 2008.

Sweden has decided to close their embassy in Laos on Aug 15, 2008. The Swedish Charge d'Affairs, AnnLis Aberg, cited the slow progress of political reforms as one one factor leading to the decision. Sweden is also closing embassies in Vietnam and the Philippines and the moves also reflect a larger movement towards focusing development in Africa instead of Asia.

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Laotian National Assembly Begins Session

The Laotian National Assembly began its session December 5, 2007 with a speech by President Thongsing Tahmmavong outlining plans for the session.

The Laotian National Assembly began its session December 5, 2007 with a speech by President Thongsing Tahmmavong outlining plans for the session. The session will consider the government report on public expenditures for fiscal year 2007-2008 and discuss the election of the President of the Central Audition Authority. In addition, 8 laws will be considered and adopted; these laws involve action on aquatics and wildlife, intellectual property, fire prevention, standardization, drugs, sports, trade unions, and forestry.

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Pan Australian Resources Ramps Up and Reaches Record Level

Pan Australian Resource's Phu Kham Heap Leach Gold Operation has reached record levels with their gold shipments in October totaling over 4,400 oz.

Pan Australian Resource's Phu Kham Heap Leach Gold Operation has reached record levels with their gold shipments in October totaling over 4,400 oz. The record production is a result of a new strategy of seasonal operation in the dry months. Pan Australian Managing Director, Mr Gary Stafford, said that under this new leaching regime, heap leach gold production is expected to out-perform previous estimates of 3,000 oz per month between October and April.

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Bangladesh-Laos Trade Expansions

During the Bangladesh-Laos Trade discussions, Laos stated that its country is planning to import agro cultural, constructions, health and other products from Bangladesh and

During the Bangladesh-Laos Trade discussions, Laos stated that its country is planning to import agro cultural, constructions, health and other products from Bangladesh and also intend to conduct joint ventures with the Bangladeshi business organizations. Laos and Bangladesh are planning to establish stronger cooperation in trade, investments as well as tourisms.

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Chinese Firm To Build Power Plant In Laos Next Year

China Southern Power Grid plans to begin work on the Nam Tha 1 hyrdoelectric plant in Laos' northern Bokeo province early next year. The deal was announced last Tuesday in the Lao newspaper Vientiane Times.

China Southern Power Grid plans to begin work on the Nam Tha 1 hyrdoelectric plant in Laos' northern Bokeo province early next year. The deal was announced last Tuesday in the Lao newspaper Vientiane Times. Capitalized at 65.7 billion kip (US$340 million), the 168-megawatt power plant is scheduled to become operational by November 2011 according to the Laos Electricy Department.

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Laos, Vietnam Agree to Strengthen Relations

At a meeting on Sunday, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung and his Lao counterpart Somsavat Lengsavat have agreed to strengthen relationships between the two countries.

At a meeting on Sunday, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung and his Lao counterpart Somsavat Lengsavat have agreed to strengthen relationships between the two countries. In particular, the fields of hydroelectricity, mining and cash crop cultivation are of great interest.

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Laos, Vietnam, Thailand Ease Transport to Boost Trade

The transport ministers of Thailand, Vietnam and Laos have recently agreed on free travel of trucks between the three countries to boost trade. Further they agreed on avoiding too strong competition for Lao transport companies. Therefore, Thai and Vietnamese trucks will not provide service to local traders.

The transport ministers of Thailand, Vietnam and Laos have recently agreed on free travel of trucks between the three countries to boost trade. Further they agreed on avoiding too strong competition for Lao transport companies. Therefore, Thai and Vietnamese trucks will not provide service to local traders.

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Vietnam and Laos to Strengthen Relationship

Vietnamese Party General Secretary Nong Duc Manh and Lao Vice President Bounnhang Vorachit met in Hanoi on Wednesday to renew programs to further strengthen special solidarity and cooperation between both nations. The Vietnamese Party General Secretary lauded the recent Laotian achievements in construction, implementing infrastructure and defense and urged the neighboring country to make strides toward independence, democracy, unity and prosperity.

Vietnamese Party General Secretary Nong Duc Manh and Lao Vice President Bounnhang Vorachit met in Hanoi on Wednesday to renew programs to further strengthen special solidarity and cooperation between both nations. The Vietnamese Party General Secretary lauded the recent Laotian achievements in construction, implementing infrastructure and defense and urged the neighboring country to make strides toward independence, democracy, unity and prosperity.

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ASEAN, Japan Now Keen on Free Trade Area by November

After nearly four years of talks, Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) may come to terms by November to form a free-trade area.

After nearly four years of talks, Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) may come to terms by November to form a free-trade area. As part of Asean's annual summit of dialogue between trade ministers, Japan's Trade and Industry Minister Akira Amari held meetings over the weekend in Manila with his Asean counterparts. Currently, Japan is Asean's largest source of foreign direct investment (FDI) with direct spending rising 50 percent last year to USD 10.8 billion. According to Asean data, Asean-Japan trade totaled USD 154 billion in 2005, which accounted for 13 percent of the groups total exports and imports. Asean members include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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Japan-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement Reached

Japan has reached a trade agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) known as the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. Under the free trade agreement, Japan will immediately repeal 90 percent of its import tariffs from ASEAN in order to be able to compete with China and South Korea. Japan and ASEAN will sign the agreement in Singapore when the leaders meet in November.

Japan has reached a trade agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) known as the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. Under the free trade agreement, Japan will immediately repeal 90 percent of its import tariffs from ASEAN in order to be able to compete with China and South Korea. Japan and ASEAN will sign the agreement in Singapore when the leaders meet in November.

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Laos and China to Work on Bilateral Ties

Laos and China plan to take advantage of the potential benefits of cooperating in several different areas including trade, energy, infrastructure, agriculture, and human resources. The two countries signed six deals in the hopes that the economic growth of the two countries can supplement each other and provide increased benefits for the people of both countries.

Laos and China plan to take advantage of the potential benefits of cooperating in several different areas including trade, energy, infrastructure, agriculture, and human resources. The two countries signed six deals in the hopes that the economic growth of both nations can supplement each other and provide increased benefits for the people of both countries.

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World Bank Grants USD 70 Million Aid to Cambodia

Last Tuesday the World Bank announced it will give USD 70 million in aid to Cambodia. The aid is being given to reduce widespread poverty and includes a plan to import cheap electricity from Laos and Vietnam.

Last Tuesday the World Bank announced it will give USD 70 million in aid to Cambodia. The aid is being given to reduce widespread poverty and includes a plan to import cheap electricity from Laos and Vietnam.

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China to Develop Satellite Project with Lao Government

A Chinese company has expressed interest in developing a satellite project in collaboration with the Lao government. China Asia Pacific Mobile Technology Satellite Co. Ltd (China-APMT) wants to develop a satellite ground station in Laos to be a service hub in domestic and international regions. The project will help Laos with socio-economic development and will establish Laos as a main satellite provider in the sub-region. A cooperation agreement will be signed by the two government which will allow Lao communications system and the ground satellite station to be developed as well as the training and technology transfer sector.

A Chinese company has expressed interest in developing a satellite project in collaboration with the Lao government. China Asia Pacific Mobile Technology Satellite Co. Ltd (China-APMT) wants to develop a satellite ground station in Laos to be a service hub in domestic and international regions. The project will help Laos with socio-economic development and will establish Laos as a main satellite provider in the sub-region. A cooperation agreement will be signed by the two government which will allow Lao communications system and the ground satellite station to be developed as well as the training and technology transfer sector.

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Malaysia to Invest in Laos

Malaysian organization, Roxwell Group, has expressed interest in investing in oil and gas in four southern Lao provinces. According to the Project Coordinator, Thavone Vixaysak, this will be the first time a Malaysian based private company would run a business in Lao mining sector. The director of the company went on to say that geology of the area is very complex, however, it expects the production to be around 190 million barrels of oil and 1.4 million cubic feet of gas. The project proposal has been sent to the government of Laos.

Malaysian organization, Roxwell Group, has expressed interest in investing in oil and gas in four southern Lao provinces. According to the Project Coordinator, Thavone Vixaysak, this will be the first time a Malaysian based private company would run a business in Lao mining sector. The director of the company went on to say that geology of the area is very complex, however, it expects the production to be around 190 million barrels of oil and 1.4 million cubic feet of gas. The project proposal has been sent to the government of Laos.

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Vietnam to Build Power Plants in Laos

Nine Vietnamese companies have joined hands to open Vietnam-Laos Power Joint Stock Company (VLPC) aimed at building hydroelectric plants in Laos. VLPC, a charter capital of nearly USD 328 million, will build hydroelectric plants under a power cooperation program between the two countries. Electricity produced from these plants would be provided to the two nations' power systems.

Nine Vietnamese companies have joined hands to open Vietnam-Laos Power Joint Stock Company (VLPC) aimed at building hydroelectric plants in Laos. VLPC, a charter capital of nearly USD 328 million, will build hydroelectric plants under a power cooperation program between the two countries. Electricity produced from these plants would be provided to the two nations' power systems.

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Mitr Phol Expands Investment in Laos

According to Isara Vongkusolkit, President of Mitr Phol Sugar Co., the Thai company has expanded its investment in Laos to THB 2.3 billion from an initial THB 900 million. The expansion includes the establishment of Mitr Lao sugar mill which will be the largest in Laos and will employ hundreds of Laotians. He went on to say that the company would promote best practices in sugar growing and processing along with technology transfer to help develop the local industry.

According to Isara Vongkusolkit, President of Mitr Phol Sugar Co., the Thai company has expanded its investment in Laos to THB 2.3 billion from an initial THB 900 million. The expansion includes the establishment of Mitr Lao sugar mill which will be the largest in Laos and will employ hundreds of Laotians. He went on to say that the company would promote best practices in sugar growing and processing along with technology transfer to help develop the local industry.

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Laos Sees Tourism as a Top Contributor

According to Vice-Chairman of the Lao National Tourism Administration, tourism was the second largest contributor, after mining, to Lao's GDP. Tourism is predicted to be the number one contributor to the country's economic growth in the future since there are many projects developing currently. The administration's primary focus is to attract high-quality tourists which currently account for only 30 percent of the total tourists.

According to Vice-Chairman of the Lao National Tourism Administration, tourism was the second largest contributor, after mining, to Lao's GDP. Tourism is predicted to be the number one contributor to the country's economic growth in the future since there are many projects developing currently. The administration's primary focus is to attract high-quality tourists which currently account for only 30 percent of the total tourists.

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Laos to Export Wood Products for Korean Truck Factory

Lao Furniture Industry Factory plans to export 10,800 cubic meters of wood products for truck parts to South Korean importer, Samwoo Company Limited. These exports will be worth about USD 47.4 million and are part of long-term purchase agreement between the two companies. Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce is pleased to see a local producer gaining access to the international market, especially when in the recent past Laos mainly exported raw or semi-processed materials.

Lao Furniture Industry Factory plans to export 10,800 cubic meters of wood products for truck parts to South Korean importer, Samwoo Company Limited. These exports will be worth about USD 47.4 million and are part of long-term purchase agreement between the two companies. Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce is pleased to see a local producer gaining access to the international market, especially when in the recent past Laos mainly exported raw or semi-processed materials.

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Lao Government to Support its Ecotourism Sector

Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh declared his support for ecotourism as a rapidly growing sector of the tourism industry in the region. He said that the government sees this type of tourism as a way to generate income for local people, raise awareness about environmental conservation, reduce inefficient agriculture and encourage local production. The Prime Minister went on to say that the Lao government had prioritized tourism as an important strategic sector because it can assist the country's socio-economic development.

Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh declared his support for ecotourism as a rapidly growing sector of the tourism industry in the region. He said that the government sees this type of tourism as a way to generate income for local people, raise awareness about environmental conservation, reduce inefficient agriculture and encourage local production. The Prime Minister went on to say that the Lao government had prioritized tourism as an important strategic sector because it can assist the country's socio-economic development.

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ICT Officials Offer Free Lao Software

According to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) consultants, local people will now have free access to a number of Lao-language email and desktop computer programs due to the development of Open Source Software in Laos. Anousak Souphavanh, an ICT consultant, said that the software can be used without any licenses or free and many countries are promoting and developing it for their social-economic development endeavors.

According to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) consultants, local people will now have free access to a number of Lao-language email and desktop computer programs due to the development of Open Source Software in Laos. Anousak Souphavanh, an ICT consultant, said that the software can be used without any licenses or free and many countries are promoting and developing it for their social-economic development endeavors.

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CPF Expands its Business to Laos

Charoen Pokphand Food (CPF) President, Adirek Sripratak, revealed that an investment in Laos is part of CPF's expansion in Asia. Adirek stated that CPF will bring advanced technology, useful knowledge in producing quality meat and beneficial techniques in aquaculture to Lao's agriculture industry. The investment will help create more jobs in Laos and will allow Laotians to consume high quality and nutritional protein sources.

Charoen Pokphand Food (CPF) President, Adirek Sripratak, revealed that an investment in Laos is part of CPF's expansion in Asia. Adirek stated that CPF will bring advanced technology, useful knowledge in producing quality meat and beneficial techniques in aquaculture to Lao's agriculture industry. The investment will help create more jobs in Laos and will allow Laotians to consume high quality and nutritional protein sources.

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Laos Tries to Stabilize Exchange Rates

The Bank of the Lao PDR (central bank) is trying to stabilize the exchange rate in the country, hoping for a rate fluctuation of no more than 5 percent this year. The bank governor emphasized that it will not allow the Lao kip to strengthen against the US dollar or weaken against the Thai baht over 5 percent. He said the bank will watch the currency rates closely to ensure that the exchange rate is reasonable in commercial banks and financial institutions and advised people to buy local products or imported products from other neighboring countries to help with the stabilization.

The Bank of the Lao PDR (central bank) is trying to stabilize the exchange rate in the country, hoping for a rate fluctuation of no more than 5 percent this year. The bank governor emphasized that it will not allow the Lao kip to strengthen against the US dollar or weaken against the Thai baht over 5 percent. He said the bank will watch the currency rates closely to ensure that the exchange rate is reasonable in commercial banks and financial institutions and advised people to buy local products or imported products from other neighboring countries to help with the stabilization.

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Laos to Grow 3000 ha of Coffee

The Vietnam-Laos Coffee Joint Stock Co. has launched a project to grow 3000 hectare (ha) of coffee in Laos province of Champassak. The project is in line with the 2006-2010 economic cooperation program between Lao and Vietnamese governments and will assist in creating jobs for thousands of workers in Laos.

The Vietnam-Laos Coffee Joint Stock Co. has launched a project to grow 3000 hectare (ha) of coffee in Laos province of Champassak. The project is in line with the 2006-2010 economic cooperation program between Lao and Vietnamese governments and will assist in creating jobs for thousands of workers in Laos.

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Laos to Build USD 50 Million Road to Vietnam

The government of Laos plans to build a 121-km road that will link the country's southern province of Sekong to the border it shares with nothern Vietnam. The first phase of work will take place between Sekong to Dakcheung in Laos and the second phase will run from Dakcheung to the Vietnamese border. The road should be completed in 2013 and is expected to facilitate trade between the southern provinces of Laos and central Vietnam.

The government of Laos plans to build a 121-km road that will link the country's southern province of Sekong to the border it shares with nothern Vietnam. The first phase of work will take place between Sekong to Dakcheung in Laos and the second phase will run from Dakcheung to the Vietnamese border. The road should be completed in 2013 and is expected to facilitate trade between the southern provinces of Laos and central Vietnam.

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Korean Investors Looking for Investments in Laos

After a recent visit to Laos, investors from four big Korean companies are interested in making investments in Laos. The President of Goodmorning Shinhan Securities Company, Mr. Lee Dong Girl, acknowledged cultural and geographical similarities between the two countries as one of the primary reasons for the investment interest. Goodmorning Shinhan Securities Company, MMAA, POBA, and KTP are the four firms that have agreed to invest about LAK 388 billion in Laos's Kolao Group bio-diesel project.

After a recent visit to Laos, investors from four big Korean companies are interested in making investments in Laos. The President of Goodmorning Shinhan Securities Company, Mr. Lee Dong Girl, acknowledged cultural and geographical similarities between the two countries as one of the primary reasons for the investment interest. Goodmorning Shinhan Securities Company, MMAA, POBA, and KTP are the four firms that have agreed to invest about LAK 388 billion in Laos's Kolao Group bio-diesel project.

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China to Build USD 80 Million Auto Plant in Laos

A Chinese automobile maker is looking to Laos for USD 80 million assembly plant to produce Futam brand buses and cars for domestic market and exports to neighboring countries. Chang Jung Xin, Chairman of the Futam Group met with Lao Prime Minister to discuss the investment which also proposes to employ 2000 Lao workers.

A Chinese automobile maker is looking to Laos for USD 80 million assembly plant to produce Futam brand buses and cars for domestic market and exports to neighboring countries. Chang Jung Xin, Chairman of the Futam Group met with Lao Prime Minister to discuss the investment which also proposes to employ 2000 Lao workers.

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Laos PM Plans to End Raw Mineral Exports

According to officials, Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh intends to halt the export of unprocessed minerals in the future to encourage investors to establish the local mineral processing industry. Dr. Vongkham Chaleunsouk, legal official from the Mines Department, said the export of raw minerals had caused a large loss of income in Laos because they were being sold at such low prices. He further stated that the government was now intent on ensuring the limited use of the country's natural resources, many of which are non-renewable.

According to officials, Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh intends to halt the export of unprocessed minerals in the future to encourage investors to establish the local mineral processing industry. Dr. Vongkham Chaleunsouk, legal official from the Mines Department, said the export of raw minerals had caused a large loss of income in Laos because they were being sold at such low prices. He further stated that the government was now intent on ensuring the limited use of the country's natural resources, many of which are non-renewable.

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ADB Helps Laos Improve Health Services

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is offering Laos USD 13 million to help the country improve its health and nutrition services in eight impoverished northern provinces. The Health System Development Project will enhance primary health care delivery in the eight provinces, particularly for the poor, women and children. According to the ADB, it will also help strengthen the capacity of the Lao Ministry of Health for the nationwide development of the health system.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is offering Laos USD 13 million to help the country improve its health and nutrition services in eight impoverished northern provinces. The Health System Development Project will enhance primary health care delivery in the eight provinces, particularly for the poor, women and children. According to the ADB, it will also help strengthen the capacity of the Lao Ministry of Health for the nationwide development of the health system.

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Laos: Government Plans 2,955 Investments Projects

According to Soulivong Daravong, President of the Committee for Planning and Investment, the government has approved major investment projects for 2007-08 in several sectors, ranging from agriculture to welfare. The total budget for investment projects would be around KIP 3.2 trillion, of which the government plans to contribute about KIP 655 billion with the rest to be drawn from foreign sources. He further stated that the government plans to create more permanent jobs and encourage various different sectors to participate in the development of the national economy in accordance with socialist mechanisms.

According to Soulivong Daravong, President of the Committee for Planning and Investment, the government has approved major investment projects for 2007-08 in several sectors, ranging from agriculture to welfare. The total budget for investment projects would be around KIP 3.2 trillion, of which the government plans to contribute about KIP 655 billion with the rest to be drawn from foreign sources. He further stated that the government plans to create more permanent jobs and encourage various different sectors to participate in the development of the national economy in accordance with socialist mechanisms.

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Pan Australia Secures Laos Mine Project

Gold miner Pan Australia Resources Ltd. has entered into loan agreements for AUD 286 million of debt facilities for the development of its large Phu Kham copper-gold project in Laos. The facilities include a AUD 189.47 million project finance facility, AUD 55.66 million for working capital and cost overruns and a AUD 41.45 million equipment lease facility. Phu Kham is expected to start its first production by mid-2008.

Gold miner Pan Australia Resources Ltd. has entered into loan agreements for AUD 286 million of debt facilities for the development of its large Phu Kham copper-gold project in Laos. The facilities include a AUD 189.47 million project finance facility, AUD 55.66 million for working capital and cost overruns and a AUD 41.45 million equipment lease facility. Phu Kham is expected to start its first production by mid-2008.

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Laos, Vietnam Organizations Join Hands

The Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) and the Lao Front for National Construction (LFNC) have agreed to create joint programs, particularly in information dissemination, in an effort to reinforce the special friendship between the two countries. Leaders of these mass organizations said they would encourage agencies, corporations, and individuals to help strengthen bilateral cooperation in economics, culture, science and technology.

The Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) and the Lao Front for National Construction (LFNC) have agreed to create joint programs, particularly in information dissemination, in an effort to reinforce the special friendship between the two countries. Leaders of these mass organizations said they would encourage agencies, corporations, and individuals to help strengthen bilateral cooperation in economics, culture, science and technology.

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Thailand Exempts Neighbors From Agricultural Duties

The Thai government has approved exempting neighboring Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar from import duties on certain categories of agricultural products as part of the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS). The ACMECS was begun in 2006 and is intended to run until 2008 with the intention of increasing trade and cooperation throughout the region.

The Thai government has approved exempting neighboring Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar from import duties on certain categories of agricultural products as part of the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS). The ACMECS was begun in 2006 and is intended to run until 2008 with the intention of increasing trade and cooperation throughout the region.

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SE Asia Organization to Cooperate on Increasing Rice Exports

The five members of the the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Co-operation Strategy (ACMECS), which include Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam, are looking to come to an agreement on increasing the quality and image of the region's rice exports. The agreement would include rules on the transfer of farming techniques and market information so that Southeast Asian rice exports can better compete internationally.

The five members of the the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Co-operation Strategy (ACMECS), which include Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam, are looking to come to an agreement on increasing the quality and image of the region's rice exports. The agreement would include rules on the transfer of farming techniques and market information so that Southeast Asian rice exports can better compete internationally.

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Laos Opening its Doors to International Investors

Laos has begun opening its doors to foreign direct investments and offering various incentives for companies that participate in its development. According to Houmpheng Souralay, the director-general of the Department of Investment Promotion, the change reflects a shift of focus in line with other communist nations including China and Vietnam to be a more market oriented economy. He further states that due to the continued inflow of investments, Laos's GDP grew 6.2% between 2001 and 2005.

Laos has begun opening its doors to foreign direct investments and offering various incentives for companies that participate in its development. According to Houmpheng Souralay, the director-general of the Department of Investment Promotion, the change reflects a shift of focus in line with other communist nations including China and Vietnam to be a more market oriented economy. He further states that due to the continued inflow of investments, Laos's GDP grew 6.2% between 2001 and 2005.

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A Joint Effort to Increase Rice Exports

Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand are joining together in an effort to improve the image and quality of the region's rice. In Vietnam alone, rice exports declined 21 percent in volume and eight percent in value during the first five months of this year compared to the same period last year. The countries hope to increase the competitiveness of their region's rice by exchanging global market information and farming techniques among each other.

Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand are joining together in an effort to improve the image and quality of the region's rice. In Vietnam alone, rice exports declined 21 percent in volume and eight percent in value during the first five months of this year compared to the same period last year. The countries hope to increase the competitiveness of their region's rice by exchanging global market information and farming techniques among each other.

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laos

World Bank Finances Laos in Education

The World Bank has granted funds of about USD 2 million to build 11 new schools in Laos' Attapeu district. It also provided funds to purchase education materials for poor families. This movement by World Bank is the second provision of funds for the improvement of primary education in Laos; it also marks a significant effort in multi-lateral cooperation between World Bank and Laos.

The World Bank has granted funds of about USD 2 million to build 11 new schools in Laos' Attapeu district. It also provided funds to purchase education materials for poor families. This movement by World Bank is the second provision of funds for the improvement of primary education in Laos; it also marks a significant effort in multi-lateral cooperation between World Bank and Laos.

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laos

Laos and Cuba Seek Economic Relations

Dr Richardo Alarcon de Quesada, President of the National Assembly of the People's Power of the Republic of Cuba, arrived in Laos yesterday for a two-day visit, invited by President of the Lao National Assembly, Mr Thongsing Thammavong. Laos and Cuban officials talked about how to bring economic cooperation between the two countries to the next step.

Dr Richardo Alarcon de Quesada, President of the National Assembly of the People's Power of the Republic of Cuba, arrived in Laos yesterday for a two-day visit, invited by President of the Lao National Assembly, Mr Thongsing Thammavong. Laos and Cuban officials talked about how to bring economic cooperation between the two countries to the next step.

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laos

Laos and Philippines Sign Investment Agreement

Laos and the Philippines signed an investment promotion and protection agreement expected to open investment relations between the two countries. During the signing ceremony, both countries' officials discussed future investment opportunities, as well as East Asian cooperation, regional security, sub-regional growth areas, and counter-terrorism issues.

Laos and the Philippines signed an investment promotion and protection agreement expected to open investment relations between the two countries. During the signing ceremony, both countries' officials discussed future investment opportunities, as well as East Asian cooperation, regional security, sub-regional growth areas, and counter-terrorism issues.

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laos

World Bank to Help Construct Power Grid Connecting Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam

The International Development Agency (IDA) has granted the World Bank Greater Mekong Sub-Region (GMS) Power Trade Program USD 18.5 million to construct power transmission lines connecting Vietnam to Cambodia's rural provinces. High tariff rates, poor infrastructure, and little supply has prevented electrification of much of the country, with only 18 percent of the country's population connected to an electrical grid. This grant and another USD 15 million dollar grant to connect Cambodia to Laos will encourage energy trading and help mitigate the power shortage in Cambodia.

The International Development Agency (IDA) has granted the World Bank Greater Mekong Sub-Region (GMS) Power Trade Program USD 18.5 million to construct power transmission lines connecting Vietnam to Cambodia's rural provinces. High tariff rates, poor infrastructure, and little supply has prevented electrification of much of the country, with only 18 percent of the country's population connected to an electrical grid. This grant and another USD 15 million dollar grant to connect Cambodia to Laos will encourage energy trading and help mitigate the power shortage in Cambodia.

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laos

Lanuage Barriers Slowing Vietnam-Laos Border Trade

Vietnam and Laos have had a long history of cross-border trade. Most items imported into Laos are agricultural implements, saplings, household goods, and chemical fertilizers. Trading at the Attapeu-Kon Tum border, however, has not seen much growth since the Phoukeua and Bo-y border trade checkpoint opened unofficially in 2004, which officials from Vietnam and Laos claim is the result of language barriers.

Vietnam and Laos have had a long history of cross-border trade. Most items imported into Laos are agricultural implements, saplings, household goods, and chemical fertilizers. Trading at the Attapeu-Kon Tum border, however, has not seen much growth since the Phoukeua and Bo-y border trade checkpoint opened unofficially in 2004, which officials from Vietnam and Laos claim is the result of language barriers.

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laos

Thailand Plans to Purchase More Electricty from Laos

Thailand and Laos plan to bring their long history of trade exchange into the energy era. Thailand may import additional electricy from Laos after discovering a number of potential hydropower plant projects in Laos. Thailand will benefit from cheaper power and a stable electricity supply.

Thailand and Laos plan to bring their long history of trade exchange into the energy era. Thailand may import additional electricy from Laos after discovering a number of potential hydropower plant projects in Laos. Thailand will benefit from cheaper power and a stable electricity supply.

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laos

Laos and Thailand Plan for Increase Trade

Laos and Thailand have a long history of exchanged trade and both sides remain optimistic for future trading. The Thai Embassy's Minister Counsellor for Commerce in Vientiane, Mr Chalaempon Pongchabubnapa, predicts that Laos will have a trade surplus over Thailand in five years. Both nations plan to double their trade values by 2010 and triple the value of Lao exports to Thailand, which includes processed wood, energy, agriculture, and forestry products.

Laos and Thailand have a long history of exchanged trade and both sides remain optimistic for future trading. The Thai Embassy's Minister Counsellor for Commerce in Vientiane, Mr Chalaempon Pongchabubnapa, predicts that Laos will have a trade surplus over Thailand in five years. Both nations plan to double their trade values by 2010 and triple the value of Lao exports to Thailand, which includes processed wood, energy, agriculture, and forestry products.

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laos

Laos Public Transportation System Facing Criticism

The Vientiane Public Transportation Company has cut the number of buses on several routes. Japan has donated buses to the company 20 years ago, but many of these buses are old or sitting in the garage awaiting repair. The public transportation system is facing many criticisms. Although the company officials denied the deficiencies in bus system. Expert suggests getting private sectors involved in public transportation business.

The Vientiane Public Transportation Company has cut the number of buses on several routes. Japan has donated buses to the company 20 years ago, but many of these buses are old or sitting in the garage awaiting repair. The public transportation system is facing many criticisms. Although the company officials denied the deficiencies in bus system. Expert suggests getting private sectors involved in public transportation business.

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laos

Lao Furniture Goes Abroad

New government policy regarding the reduction of unprocessed timber exports is expected to encourage foreign companies to establish furniture factories in Lao. According to the President of the Lao Furniture Association, Mr Yothin Vetsaphong, this policy on unprocessed timber signals a bright future ahead for them, which would encourage domestic and foreign investors to the nation. Mr Yothin expressed that 20 percent of exports by companies in his association enter the Asian market, and they are expecting to soon gain a greater market share in Europe.

New government policy regarding the reduction of unprocessed timber exports is expected to encourage foreign companies to establish furniture factories in Lao. According to the President of the Lao Furniture Association, Mr Yothin Vetsaphong, this policy on unprocessed timber signals a bright future ahead for them, which would encourage domestic and foreign investors to the nation. Mr Yothin expressed that 20 percent of exports by companies in his association enter the Asian market, and they are expecting to soon gain a greater market share in Europe.

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laos

ILO Urges ASEAN Members to Boost Productivity Growth

The International Labor Organization (ILO) is urging the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to increase productivity growth rates if it has any hopes of remaining competitive with its powerhouse neighbors China and India. Furthermore, the ILO warns that failure to lift productivity growth, even in instances of overall economic growth, will add to the already severe levels of poverty most of the ASEAN member nations face, while simultaneously widening the economic gap amongst them.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) is urging the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to increase productivity growth rates if it has any hopes of remaining competitive with its powerhouse neighbors China and India. Furthermore, the ILO warns that failure to lift productivity growth, even in instances of overall economic growth, will add to the already severe levels of poverty most of the ASEAN member nations face, while simultaneously widening the economic gap amongst them.

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laos

Air Transport Services Open in the Mekong Sub-Region

An airline service between Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam (CLMV) has plans for development in the near future. CLMV plans to grant travel privileges to the citizens of each country with less restrictions. Additionally, the countries will give investors more flexibility in the development of air transport services since it is now open to other CLMV countries.

An airline service between Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam (CLMV) has plans for development in the near future. CLMV plans to grant travel privileges to the citizens of each country with less restrictions. Additionally, the countries will give investors more flexibility in the development of air transport services since it is now open to other CLMV countries.

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laos

Laos to Join IWC, Accelerates Investment Treaty with Japan

Meeting to discuss a number of issues, the Prime Ministers of Japan and Laos concluded a successful round of talks on Monday. Laos will join the International Whaling Commission (IWC), of which Japan leads the pro-whaling camp, and will use its diplomatic ties with North Korea to urge their compliance with a six-party denuclearization deal. Japan will speed up its bilateral investment treaty with Laos, encouraging Japanese investment in Laos' developing economy as well as supporting Laotian socio-economic improvement.

Meeting to discuss a number of issues, the Prime Ministers of Japan and Laos concluded a successful round of talks on Monday. Laos will join the International Whaling Commission (IWC), of which Japan leads the pro-whaling camp, and will use its diplomatic ties with North Korea to urge their compliance with a six-party denuclearization deal. Japan will speed up its bilateral investment treaty with Laos, encouraging Japanese investment in Laos' developing economy as well as supporting Laotian socio-economic improvement.

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laos

EU Backs Food Security in Laos

Continuing the European Union's trend of supporting sustainable development in rural Laos, the European Commission supported the signing of a food security project worth 1.5 million euro in food and nutritional aid. The program aims to develop nutritional strategies while allowing local communities the opportunity to influence policy decisions pertaining to local food issues. The European Commission hopes the project will help sustain income-generating activities in the face of widespread food shortages and livelihood crises.

Continuing the European Union's trend of supporting sustainable development in rural Laos, the European Commission supported the signing of a food security project worth 1.5 million euro in food and nutritional aid. The program aims to develop nutritional strategies while allowing local communities the opportunity to influence policy decisions pertaining to local food issues. The European Commission hopes the project will help sustain income-generating activities in the face of widespread food shortages and livelihood crises.

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laos

ADB Reform Questions Produce Tension, Not Answers

The Asia Development Bank (ADB) seeks to enact reforms after their initial mission of poverty eradication in the region seems to be coming to a close. Richer members argue for a diversification of their interests to environmental preservation and sustainable development, while poorer nations insist that economic development in their countries is no where near finished.

The Asia Development Bank (ADB) seeks to enact reforms after their initial mission of poverty eradication in the region seems to be coming to a close. Richer members argue for a diversification of their interests to environmental preservation and sustainable development, while poorer nations insist that economic development in their countries is no where near finished.

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laos

ASEAN+3 Agree to Establish Foreign Reserves Pool

The finance ministers of ASEAN plus Japan, China and the Republic of Korea have agreed on setting up a pooling fund from their foreign reserves. This self-managed reserve pooling will be conducted by a single contractual agreement with a gradual approach to ensure the liquidity for currencies and protect the Asian economy against a possible future crisis. Additionally, all ministers announced to accelerate and deepen structural reforms and implement macro-economic policies in order to strengthen cooperation and to support sustainable economic growth.

The finance ministers of ASEAN plus Japan, China and the Republic of Korea have agreed on setting up a pooling fund from their foreign reserves. This self-managed reserve pooling will be conducted by a single contractual agreement with a gradual approach to ensure the liquidity for currencies and protect the Asian economy against a possible future crisis. Additionally, all ministers announced to accelerate and deepen structural reforms and implement macro-economic policies in order to strengthen cooperation and to support sustainable economic growth.

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laos

ASEAN-EU Launch Free Trade Negotiations

Free trade negotiations were launched by Southeast Asian states and the European Union. The agreement was made when EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson reached an agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (AESEAN) economic ministers. The ASEAN-EU free trade zone will cover one billion people and will be one of the largest free trade zones in the world.

Free trade negotiations were launched by Southeast Asian states and the European Union. The agreement was made when EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson reached an agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (AESEAN) economic ministers. The ASEAN-EU free trade zone will cover one billion people and will be one of the largest free trade zones in the world.

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laos

Asian Financial Chiefs Meet to Discuss Financial Cooperation

The Finance ministers from ASEAN plus Japan, China and South Korea will hold a conference on Saturday in Kyoto to discuss ways to improve financial cooperation, including a deal on multilateral currency swaps. During the meeting, all the issues being discussed are ways to ensure necessary liquidity in a prompt manner in the event of a crisis and to enhance the capabilities of local rating organizations and securitization.

The Finance ministers from ASEAN plus Japan, China and South Korea will hold a conference on Saturday in Kyoto to discuss ways to improve financial cooperation, including a deal on multilateral currency swaps. During the meeting, all the issues being discussed are ways to ensure necessary liquidity in a prompt manner in the event of a crisis and to enhance the capabilities of local rating organizations and securitization.

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laos

ASEAN Regional Financial System to be Established

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has published its plan to develop a regional financial system to "contribute to a prosperous and competitive ASEAN region". As ASEAN capital markets have tripled their size since 1997, the main goals of the yet to be established financial system include the harmonization of standards, rules and regulations; the mobilization of capital and savings for regional infrastructural development; the facilitation of greater capital flows within the region, and the participation of the private sector.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has published its plan to develop a regional financial system to "contribute to a prosperous and competitive ASEAN region". As ASEAN capital markets have tripled their size since 1997, the main goals of the yet to be established financial system include the harmonization of standards, rules and regulations; the mobilization of capital and savings for regional infrastructural development; the facilitation of greater capital flows within the region, and the participation of the private sector.

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editor picks 

Other Important News In Laos


ADB Grants $20 Million For Laos Sustainable Natural Resource Management Project

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide US$20 million in grant aid to the Sustainable Natural Resource Management and Productivity Enhancement Project.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide US$20 million in grant aid to the Sustainable Natural Resource Management and Productivity Enhancement Project. The project aims to help the government protect the country's rich and diverse natural resources from commercial development in the five southern provinces of Savannakhet, Sekong, Saravan, Champassak and Attapeu. The project is co-financed on a grant basis by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) of $15 million. Moreover, the Government of Japan's Special Fund, which is managed by the ADB, will also provide $700,000 to go into training resources to support the project.

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Laos: Trade With Vietnam To Reach $1 Billion by 2010

The Lao government is expecting the trade between Laos and Vietnam to increase from $423 million in 2008 to $1 billion by 2010 after the two countries signed a new agreement on cross-border procedures in Vientiane last week.

The Lao government is expecting the trade between Laos and Vietnam to increase from $423 million in 2008 to $1 billion by 2010 after the two countries signed a new agreement on cross-border procedures in Vientiane last week. The agreement is part of their effort to facilitate trade between the two countries by reducing the existing documentary inspecting processes. Now, only a single goods declaration form is needed by the owners to be shown to inspectors to verify that the shipment is destined to third countries and the 10 ASEAN nations and not meant for Laos and Vietnam, removing the possibility that inspects will impose taxes on those goods.

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Laos: World Tourism Authority Gives $24,000 To Xekong Province

The World Tourism Authority gave $24,000 for the construction of a tourist village in Kandone village, Thataeng district, Xekong province.

The World Tourism Authority gave $24,000 for the construction of a tourist village in Kandone village, Thataeng district, Xekong province. The money will be used to construct a four kilometer road, to install electricity to 99 households, to build a water supply system, to build a traditional shop and guesthouse, to fund a guide training course for villagers, and to pay a weaver to teach the villages how to weave. Kandone was chosen for the construction of a tourist village because it is known for its weaving methods, handicrafts, and the culture of the Katou ethnic group.

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Laos: MOF To Tap Into Singapore Expertise In Public Finance Modernisation

The Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE) and the World Bank recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to provide technical assistance to the Lao Ministry of Finance (MOF).

The Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE) and the World Bank recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to provide technical assistance to the Lao Ministry of Finance (MOF). The MOU formalizes the partner collaboration on a Public Finance Modernisation and Governance Programme (PFMGP), with a grant amount of $752,000. The programme is part of an overall effort by the Lao government to strengthen its public financial management and aid effectiveness in the country.

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Laos: Minimum Wage Rises By 20%

The government has increased the minimum wage for workers by 20 percent, from 290,000 kip to 348,000 kip.

The government has increased the minimum wage for workers by 20 percent, from 290,000 kip to 348,000 kip. The wage increase, while lower than the 2008 proposal of the Lao Federation of Trade Unions to the National Assembly of 700,000 kip, is expected to mainly benefit workers in the garment industry, who mostly get a minimum wage. To help employers mitigate the rise in costs from the minimum wage increase, the government also reduced the rate of tax on the profit from 35 percent to 20 percent.

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Laos: South Korea Gives More Than US$4 million for Canals

South Korea will provide Laos with $4.9 million directed at the construction of two irrigation canals, vastly improving Laos' facilities for agricultural production.

South Korea will provide Laos with $4.9 million directed at the construction of two irrigation canals, vastly improving Laos' facilities for agricultural production. The project should reach completion by 2011, and is expected to help over 1,000 farmers in the region. This aid is a part of South Korea's efforts to help Laos become a developed country by 2020.

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Vietnamese Prime Minister to Attend Economic Conference in Laos

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung is expected to attend the Greater Mekong Sub-region Summit (GMS) in Laos March 30-31.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung is expected to attend the Greater Mekong Sub-region Summit (GMS) in Laos March 30-31. The summit's theme, "Enhancement of Competitiveness via Greater Connectivity," will focus on boosting cooperation and transport between public and private sectors and to develop investment and trade in the Greater Mekong region. Aside from Vietnam and Laos, leaders from GMS members – Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar and China will be in attendance.

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Vietnam Invests Nearly USD 600 Million in Laos

Since 1989 Vietnam has invested roughly USD 600 million in Laos according to the Lao Planning and Investment Ministry.

Since 1989 Vietnam has invested roughly USD 600 million in Laos according to the Lao Planning and Investment Ministry. The projects primarily focus on agriculture, industry, handicraft, garments, banking, energy, and hotel-restaurant businesses. The mining sector has accounted for 15 projects worth an estimated USD 33 million, while the agro-forestry industry has 25 projects worth USD 117 million. The energy sector has been the primary area of investment with two hydropower plants attracting nearly USD 270 million.

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Sweden Leaves Laos

Sweden has decided to close their embassy in Laos on Aug 15, 2008.

Sweden has decided to close their embassy in Laos on Aug 15, 2008. The Swedish Charge d'Affairs, AnnLis Aberg, cited the slow progress of political reforms as one one factor leading to the decision. Sweden is also closing embassies in Vietnam and the Philippines and the moves also reflect a larger movement towards focusing development in Africa instead of Asia.

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Laotian National Assembly Begins Session

The Laotian National Assembly began its session December 5, 2007 with a speech by President Thongsing Tahmmavong outlining plans for the session.

The Laotian National Assembly began its session December 5, 2007 with a speech by President Thongsing Tahmmavong outlining plans for the session. The session will consider the government report on public expenditures for fiscal year 2007-2008 and discuss the election of the President of the Central Audition Authority. In addition, 8 laws will be considered and adopted; these laws involve action on aquatics and wildlife, intellectual property, fire prevention, standardization, drugs, sports, trade unions, and forestry.

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