Laos’ Investment Outlook for 2018

Landlocked by Myanmar, Cambodia, China, Thailand, and Vietnam, Laos is among the poorest economies of the world. Yet, in terms of gross domestic product (GDP), the economy continues to soar. Over the last decade, Laos has sustained an average growth rate of 7.8 percent, relatively higher than its neighboring countries.

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Rule Of Law Key To Strengthening Laos’ Competitiveness

Laos has to strengthen the rule of law if it wants to become a competitive investment destination, according to a report from the World Bank.
“The country (Laos) faces issues that include weak regulatory effectiveness, control of corruption and rule of law,” the 2018-Doing Business in the Lao PDR report highlighted in its key findings.

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Tourism And Development Threaten Laos’ French Traditions

It remains a jewel of French colonial architecture, you can savor some of the best croissants and baguettes east of Paris here, and even toddlers still learn the language of their bygone rulers. Luang Prabang, tucked into a river valley in the heart of Laos, survives as one of the last bastions of the old French Indochina.

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China Southern Adds Lao Route

China Southern plans to fly to Vientiane from Chongqing in China during the summer timetable months April to October. The airline has filed for three weekly flights starting 26 March according to timetable information reported by Airlineroute.
The new service would use an …

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Green Light For Tourism Complex Development In Vangvieng; Casino Pending Approval

A Chinese company is beginning construction of a more than US$200-million tourism complex at the disused airfield in Vangvieng district. The project will include a five-star hotel, a modern private hospital, a public park and a planned casino.

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Lao Factory Owners Say Proposed Wage Hike Will Shutter Businesses

Owners of garment factories and other businesses in Laos are rejecting a proposal to raise the minimum wage by as much as one-third, saying the increase in expenses would force them to shut down operations, despite reports of workers seeking opportunities elsewhere due to low pay and high living costs.

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Top Ten Hard Truths Of Living As An Expat In Thailand

There will be bumps along the way between your visits to the beach, bar and immigration office (sometimes the bumps will be at the beach, bar and immigration office). Expat life is what you make it here in the Land of Smiles. Moaning about it never helps but accepting the bumps is part of the adventure. Here are our Top Ten Hard Truths for expats in Thailand.

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Highest and Best Coverage for Cars & Motorbikes in Laos !

We are offering the highest and best coverage for cars & motorbikes in Laos ! No other Lao insurance company provides such exceptional coverage !
And we offer the most competitive premiums !
Our motor insurance covers:
– Comprehensive Coverage (damage to your own car, theft, fire, glass) up to the insured value
– Driver & Passenger Coverage
– Third Party Coverage (among others, bodily injury Kip 1’100 Mio per accident, medical expenses up to Kip 18 Mio and material damage up to Kip 110 Mio)
We can also cover your car against damage, theft and fire when driving in Thailand !

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How To Protect Your Intellectual Property In Laos

As Lao PDR’s economy grows and more companies begin conducting commercial activities here it will become increasingly important for businesses to protect and maintain their competitiveness in the market. A company’s failure to effectively protect its IP or to restrict infringement of its IP can lead to the loss of market share, revenue, reputation, opportunity and competitive advantage.

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Mango Mania: Iconic Views and Soothing Entrees

Running water, its soothing white noise comforts and welcomes. This is the sound that greets customers as they enter the sanctum sanctorum which is the uniqueness of Mango Mania.
Mango Mania is a U-shaped greenhouse that appears more mirage-like than edificial. At the base of the U, framed by two bright red wooden doors reminiscent of …

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Wattay Airport Shuttle Bus Service Launched

Vientiane Bus Enterprise launched its commercial operations for the new shuttle bus service to Wattay Airport. The shuttle bus service will be available between Central Bus Station at Talat Sao and Wattay International Airport.

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Anthony Bourdain And James Syhabout On The Cuisine You Don’t Know – But Should

You’ve probably tasted Laotian flavors and not even realized it. Anthony Bourdain and chef James Syhabout want to change that. Syhabout is the force behind two Michelin-starred restaurants, Commis and sister eatery Hawker Fare, which focuses on the Laotian cuisine of his childhood. Bourdain is the host of the popular travel and food show “Parts Unknown.” He calls Hawker Fare one of the most important restaurants he’s ever visited.

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Will Costs Continue To Cage Laos’ Regional Connectivity?

Laos is among the fastest growing economies in Southeast Asia: economic growth has averaged 7.8 per cent over the past decade. Despite the slow recovery of the global economy, the country’s growth rate was 6.9 per cent in 2017 and is expected to be 7 per cent in 2018. This is buoyed by an expansion in electricity production, manufacturing and agriculture, and it occurs despite a slight drop in tourist arrivals.

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Laos Dances To Survive Between China and Vietnam

While often portrayed as a pliant client to its larger neighbors, Vientiane’s balancing act is more astute than widely recognized
With its sparse 6.7 million population, land-locked Laos is often cast as a passive victim of pell-mell Chinese expansionism, a rich source of raw materials its giant neighbor craves and a virtual truck stop on the way to Thailand and the more prosperous countries of mainland Southeast Asia.

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With Its Environmental Crisis, Is Laos Missing The Forest For The Trees?

Laos’ reputation as having some of the most lush and diverse forests in the Mekong remains under serious threat after a December investigation by government officials found evidence of large-scale illegal logging operations in the southern Attapeu province, despite recent efforts to end the practice. Laos, which is left with just 40 percent of the country covered by closed canopy forests, is facing an environmental crisis with much of the remaining forests unhealthy and degraded.

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Utilise Local Tour Guides Or Face Penalties, Foreign Tour Operators Warned

Lao authorities have warned foreign tour operators to utilise local tour guides otherwise they will be fined.
The authorities also warned foreign tour operators to partner with local counterparts in arranging package tour programmes in Laos; if not they will face measures.

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Is Mekong River Set To Become The New South China Sea For Regional Disputes?

Foreign ministers from the six countries through which the Mekong flows met in southwestern China last month to approve a draft of a five-year development plan for the river. But as state leaders prepare to finalise the proposal at a meeting in Cambodia later this month, environmental groups have expressed concern over what it could mean for Southeast Asia’s longest waterway.

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Seek Permission Before Flying Your Drone, Lao Ministry Warns

The Ministry of Post and Telecommunications has warned drone owners to seek permission from the relevant authorities before flying their drones – if not, the owners will face penalties.

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Lease Agreements in Laos: Tips & Hints

One of the most common agreements made in Lao PDR are lease agreements, whether they are for residential accommodation, office or shop space, factory or farm land or any other personal or commercial purposes. However, from time to time, disputes or disagreements may arise from the lease agreement, many of which could have been avoidable through clearly stated terms in a lease contract or a legal review for compliance under Lao PDR law.

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Police Must Work Harder To Tackle Thefts And Burglaries In Vientiane

The people of the capital of Laos are, by and large, peaceful and law-abiding but as with all other cities around the world, they too face the problem of crimes such as thefts and burglaries.
Of late, the people of Vientiane have been troubled by several instances of car thefts and break-ins and it should be the mission of police officials to investigate these crimes and punish the wrong-doers under the laws of the country.

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Laos Faces US&EU Trade Suspensions Over Wildlife Trade

At SC69, Laos’ non-compliance was the subject of a working group in which EIA and other NGOs participated. The U.S. called for Laos to face full trade suspensions now, while the EU favored a warning and a time-bound process for specific remedial action to ensure Laos sets up proper CITES authorities and takes action to stop trade in parts and products of tigers (including farmed tigers), elephants, rhinos, pangolins and other wildlife.

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Luang Prabang Film Festival Selects 10 Projects for 2017 Talent Lab

The Luang Prabang Film Festival (LPFF) has selected 10 projects from across Southeast Asia to participate in its 2017 Talent Lab, to be led by Tribeca Film Institute® (TFI). The Lab, which will focus on grant writing and project pitching, will be held during the opening weekend of the eighth annual festival, which will take place 8-13 December 2017.

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High-speed Rail Project Will Force Thousands of Lao Families to Relocate

More than 4,400 Lao families are being forced to relocate to make way for the U.S. $6 billion Lao-Chinese high-speed railway whose construction began nearly a year ago as part of a longer rail project that will link China to mainland Southeast Asia, a public works ministry official said.

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Asia Is Unprepared For The Next Flu Outbreak

Epidemics and outbreaks happen very quickly – anywhere and without warning. While advancements in science have equipped us to better handle the flu, Asia’s continued growth in recent years and lack of sufficient infrastructure have made it difficult to handle large scale outbreaks, cope with hospitalisation numbers and contain transmission between individuals. These factors have made it easier for viruses to spread within local communities and across the region, putting everyone at risk.

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American Pacific Resources Partners with Lao Company to Develop a 67,000-acre Gold Mining Project

PHI Group, Inc., (www.phiglobal.com) (OTCQB:PHIL), a company focused on mergers and acquisitions and investments in natural resources, energy, agriculture, and special situations, announced today that its subsidiary American Pacific Resources, Inc. (“APR”) (https://aprgold.com/) has signed a Business Cooperation and Investment Agreement with a Lao company to develop a 67,000-acre gold mining project in the Province of Savannakhet, Laos.

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Baci Ritual: A Centrepiece Of Lao Culture

The baci or Sou khuan is a well-known traditional ritual and has a deep meaning for Lao people.
The baci ceremony is reminiscent of Brahmanism and animism. It follows the belief that the human being’s main body parts are inhabited by 32, or even more, spirits. In some circumstances, these spirits may leave the body to wander around and get lost in the universe, thus causing you to become weak and vulnerable to danger.
It’s therefore important to call the missing spirits back, so you can be yourself again. This ceremony is performed on important occasions such as births…..

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Beeline Taken Over By Lao Government

VEON Ltd. , a leading global provider of connectivity and internet services headquartered in Amsterdam and serving more than 235 million customers, today announces that its wholly owned subsidiary, VimpelCom Holding Laos B.V., has entered into an agreement to sell its 78% stake in VimpelCom Lao Co. Ltd (VimpelCom Lao) to the Government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Government of the Lao PDR) for gross proceeds of USD 22 million.

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Cycling In Southern Laos – An Unparalleled Way To Immerse Yourself In The Local Lifestyle

In southern Laos, there are numerous cycling tours on offer for all levels all year round but winter makes the best time as the weather is dry and the temperature is cooler. It’s an activity we really recommend as it’s an unparalleled way to immerse yourself in the local lifestyle.

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Laos Merely A Bystander As China Pushes Belt And Road Ambitions

An ambitious $6 billion high-speed railway project in Laos that would link China with the Laotian capital of Vientiane on the Thai border is meant to be a symbol of cooperation under Chinese President Xi Jinping’s flagship Belt and Road Initiative. But with Beijing calling the shots and leaving out locals, it has instead become another example of the pitfalls faced by small Southeast Asian countries in relying economically on their much larger neighbor.

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King of Thailand’s Funeral Ceremony: Advice for Tourists Oct 2017

Thailand is building up to what will be a historic period with final preparations under way for the funeral of the late King. The Royal Cremation Ceremony will be held in Bangkok from October 25-29. It will be a sad time for Thai people, but the country will remain as welcoming as ever for tourists and you will still be able to enjoy your trip. Although there is no need to change travel plans, please be respectful and if you are visiting Bangkok or other areas of Thailand in October, there are some important points to be aware of.

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Thai Motor Insurance With Free 24h Emergency Roadside Service … now available at J&C Services

When traveling in Thailand and your car breaks down, you run out of gas or you’re locked out, AXA Roadside Assistance helps make it simple and easy to get back on the road and on your way. This unique service is part of our new auto-insurance policy for Thailand, only available at J&C Services.

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What Languages Are Spoken In Laos ?

Lao, also called Laotian, is the official as well as the dominant language in Laos. Migration and conflict have resulted in the present ethnic composition of Laos and to the geographical diffusion of its ethnic groups. 86 languages have so far been documented in the country as used by its various ethnic groups. French and English are identified as minority languages in Laos.

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Luang Prabang Film Festival Announces 2017 Talent Lab

The Luang Prabang Film Festival (LPFF) has announced that it is looking for applicants for its 2017 Talent Lab for Southeast Asian filmmakers, to be led by Tribeca Film Institute® (TFI). The Lab, which will focus on grant writing and project pitching, will be held during the opening weekend of the eighth annual festival, which will take place 8-13 December 2017.

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Telephone Number Registry Checks Planned

A planned review of all mobile telephone numbers registered for use via the nation’s mobile SIM cards is to be led by the Ministry of Post and Communications aiming to ensure records are up to date.

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B Grimm Goes Big With Power Projects In Laos

B GRIMM POWER has taken an aggressive move in building and operating hydropower plants in Laos. The company officially opened on Friday the Xanamnoy 2 and Xekatam 1 hydropower plants in Champasak province that shares a border with Thailand’s Northeastern Ubon Ratchathani province.

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Do’s & Don’t If You Have An Accident In Laos

For foreigners, driving in Laos can be very different to driving in their home country. Motorbike riders frequently drive on the wrong side of the road and cars do not always respect Lao road rules. Those new to the country will need to take great care to avoid accidents.
If an accident does occur, here are some tips on what to do & not to do:

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