Vientiane Airport: International Expansion As China Tourism Booms

Vientiane Airport has doubled the size of its international terminal, supporting a Laotian initiative to boost tourism. Laos expects Vientiane’s international passenger traffic to double over the next five years, driven by a rapid increase in visitor numbers.

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First UK English Language School Opens In Vientiane

Panyathip International School has partnered with the Wimbledon School of English, a British English language school, to officially open the Panyathip Education Centre in Vientiane.

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Laos Continues To Be Target For Money Laundering

Laos continues to face a high risk of money laundering despite the country graduating from the “grey list” of the Financial Action Task Force last year, according to the National Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Risk Assessment (NRA).

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Laos’ Main Airport Got Huge Expansion

The international terminal of the airport serving the Laotian capital of Vientiane, Wattay International Airport, can now accommodate as many as 2.3 million foreign travelers a year, roughly nine times the original terminal’s capacity.

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Major To Open New Cinema In Laos

Vicha Poolvaraluck, chief executive of Major Cineplex, said he signed the deal with Thatnakhone Thammavong, president of TK Group and Lao World Plc, an owner of ITECC Mall, to open the new state-of-the-art cinema.

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New Decree Offers Tax Breaks For Investors in Lao SEZs

Domestic and foreign investors will be granted a number of tax breaks under a new amended decree related to specific and special economic zones (SEZs) issued recently by the government.

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Chinese Constructors Complete Foundations Of Mekong River Rail Bridges

The concrete casting for the last pier understructure of LuangPrabangrailway bridge has been successfully completed, laying down all the foundation construction work of the two cross-Mekong River super major bridges along the China-Laos railway.

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Inspection Ordered As Road Toll Bites In Champassak

Champassak provincial authorities will soon order an inspection of Road No. 16 including accurate details on the construction budget as the government contemplates plans to purchase the project rights from the private construction company.

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PM Urges Strengthening Business Sector Through Law Improvement

While giving a guidance talk at the 11th Lao Business Forum on Jul 5, Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith emphasized the importance of strengthening the business sector through the improvement of business-related laws and regulations adding that doing so could help achieve the national socio-economic development goals.

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New Laos IP Law Is A Significant Step Forward For Domestic And International Brands

A new IP law will come into force in the Southeast Asian nation of Laos this weekend, introducing trademark opposition procedures to the country for the first time. The new law also stipulates the creation of a new digital platform for brand rights and expands the range of images eligible for trademark protection in the jurisdiction, among other things.

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New Flights To Boost Links Between Laos and China

Laos and China on Monday officially set in motion a new air route between the two countries, aimed not only at boosting tourism but also other areas of cooperation.
The new flight will carry tourists and other travellers between Vientiane and Luang Prabang province in Laos and Hainan province in China.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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The Lao-Singapore Tax Treaty/DTA is Now Effective

In case you missed it, Singapore’s reputation as an attractive holding company location for investments into Lao PDR recently went up a notch: after being signed way back in February 2014, the long-awaited tax treaty/double taxation agreement between Lao PDR and Singapore (the “DTA”) became effective on 1 January 2017.

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Arbitration in Laos

The choice of arbitration as a dispute resolution mechanism has risen in popularity as a time and cost-effective option to resolve commercial disputes. By including an arbitration clause in contractual arrangements, contracting parties may agree in advance on the seat and rules of arbitration, the size of the arbitration panel and even the rules to ….

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Laos Cuts Maximum Concession Period To 50 Years

Laos’ newly-amended Investment Promotion Law has moved to cut by half the maximum investment period for new concession projects to 50 years, down from the previous maximum period of 99 years.
The move is aimed at maximizing investment benefits for the Lao economy, an official from the Ministry of Planning and Investment involved in …

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China Top Foreign Investor In 2016

China overtook Vietnam to reclaim the number one position as the largest foreign investor in Laos last year.
China’s investment last year soared to over US$1 billion compared to US$88.9 million in 2015 while Vietnam’s investment decreased by US$4.5 million in 2016 after registering US$466 million in 2015.
Most of the investments are focused on the hydropower, mining and ….

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Why It’s Time To Comply: Internal Regulations For Workplaces In Laos

The Labour Law (2013) came into effect on 28 October 2014, repealing and replacing the previous Labour Law (2006) and introducing a number of significant changes relating to the basic rules of employment in Lao PDR. As the Labour Law is now well into its third year in force, we consider one of its more significant yet often overlooked legal requirements for employers in Lao PDR – internal regulations or “work rules” of the workplace for employees.

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These Are The Fastest Growing Economies In East Asia In 2017

The Philippines is just one growth engine for the region stretching from Japan to Singapore, and infrastructure booms are just one source of booming economies. Here are the countries that the World Bank projects will grow fastest in East Asia and the Pacific this year:
1. Laos. This impoverished country with a strict Communist government will grow 7% this year because of investment in the …

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Lao Province Issues Banana Ban

Authorities in the northern Lao province of Bokeo suspended the operations of 18 Chinese-backed banana plantations after they discovered widespread violations of the regulations governing the use of agricultural chemicals, government officials told RFA’s Lao Service.
“It has been a problem for the environment as the Chinese companies destroy the environment with their heavy use of chemicals,” a provincial official told ….

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China’s New Silk Road Is Getting Muddy

With the future of U.S.-China relations an open question for the incoming Donald Trump administration, many have focused on whether the president-elect’s promise to withdraw from negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will enhance Beijing’s growing influence in East Asia. But rather than hand-wringing over TPP’s ignominious failure, Asia watchers should turn their attention to …..

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Lao Amended Investment Law Shortens Concession Period

Amendments to the Investment Promotion Law has shortened investment concession periods to ensure closer scrutiny of investors’ operations, Lao state-run daily Vientiane Times reported on Monday.
A draft amendment to the law, which was passed by Lao National Assembly (NA) last week, shortens the investment concession period from 99 years to 50 years, a change that was widely welcomed by NA members during ….

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That Luang Marsh Developer To Build Theme Park

A Chinese developer plans to invest US$80 million to construct a water theme park next year at the That Luang Marsh Specific Economic Zone in Vientiane to attract domestic and foreign tourists.
The concept is to capture a slice of the increasing foreign visitor market to Laos while enticing domestic tourists and discourage them from travelling to neighbouring countries for their …..

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Banks Cut Interest Rates On Kip Accounts, Raise For Foreign Currencies

Commercial banks in Laos have lowered the interest rates charged on loans and offered on kip accounts in line with a recent decision made by the Bank of the Lao PDR, hoping to stimulate economic activity.
Conversely banks have raised the interest rates offered on Thai baht and US dollar deposit accounts hoping to build up …..

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Top Leaders Discuss How Businesses Can Succeed In ASEAN Developing Economies At Channel NewsAsia Forums

Business leaders share views on roadmap to success; Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of IMF, discusses economic development at ASEAN Business Investment Summit 2016
Regional broadcaster, Channel NewsAsia, brought together business leaders and the government sector for two forums held during the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ABIS) 2016, at ….

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Real Estate Growth Sustainable But Sluggish, Experts Say

Laos is not at risk of developing into a bubble economy despite the apparent ongoing building boom particularly in the capital, according to leading economists on Tuesday.
This is because overall growth in the real estate sector is actually quite sluggish and most investment is from overseas interests, mainly China and Vietnam.
Another factor preventing the forming of a Lao asset …..

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Asia Aviation Capital Poised To Benefit From AirAsia’s Airbus A321neo Order

Asia Aviation Capital Limited stands poised to benefit from parent company AirAsia Berhad’s recent deal for 100 Airbus A321neo aircraft, with 30 percent of the order expected to be allocated to the wholly-owned leasing unit.
The aircraft order, valued at $12.6 billion based on list prices, was announced at Farnborough Airshow last week. It is the first order placed by AirAsia Berhad for the ….

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Slowing China Economy Ripples Into Laos

A slowing in China’s economy is having rippling effects on Laos, which has been described by the World Bank as having “once of the fastest growing” economies in the East Asia and Pacific region.
A decade long mining boom, combined with a rapid development of hydropower, has seen Laos’ growth rate reach over 7 percent a year, allowing national output to more than double, generating some ….

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The Rise, Fall and Possible Renewal of a Town in Laos on China’s Border

For five years, this remote town on the China-Laos border has lived in the shadow of more prosperous times.
On the main street, weeds grow where bustling shops and restaurants once stood. Old nightclub signs blister and peel in the tropical climate. Around town, abandoned multistory hotels loom like decaying sentinels, colonized by armies of jungle insects.
About a half-dozen years ago, Boten was a casino boomtown, a pinprick of neon amid thickly forested hills. Its gold-rush economy revolved ….

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Luang Prabang Lures Foreign Investors With Tax Incentives

Promoted as one of Laos’ tourism destinations, Luang Prabang is angling for investors from Asean, including Thailand, by offering waiver of corporate income tax for up to six years as bait.
Luang Prabang has prioritised the tourism industry to drive its growth and lift Laotians from poverty under the 2020 strategic development plan, Governor Khamkhan Chamthavisouk said. “In general, Asean investors will be allowed to hold a 100-per-cent stake in …..

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Laos Gives Green Light To Foreign Investors

The government has reaffirmed its commitment to giving the green light to foreign businesses seeking opportunities for investment in the country.
This was the statement made by Deputy Prime Minister Dr Sonexay Siphandone during the launch of the 4th China-South Asia Expo and the 24th China Kunming Import and Export Commodities Fair on June 12.
In his opening remarks, Dr Sonexay said that although Laos does not share a border with the sea, based on….

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Direct Flight Between India and Laos soon

To enhance people to people contact between two South East Asian neighbours, India and Laos will soon have a direct flight connectivity as part the initiatives to increase cultural exchange and bilateral trade between two countries.
“Direct flight connectivity between the two countries is in final stage of approval and very soon India and Laos will have ….

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Lao Garment Industry Shrinks Amid Labour Shortage

The local garment industry has contracted in the wake of labour shortages, the Association of the Lao Garment Industry has reported.
From 2003 to 2011, the garment industry expanded but since 2012 a downward trend has prevailed. “Labour shortage issues have caused new investors to lose interest in Laos, instead shifting their capital to neighbouring countries, especially Cambodia, …….

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IMF Chief Praises Laos, Warns Of Challenges Ahead

International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde has lauded Laos’ economic achievements while cautioning that more work is needed to consolidate stability as the nation transitions from low-income country status.
Ms Lagarde is believed to be the first IMF chief to visit Laos since the country joined the ….

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Laos’ Sleepy Capital Awakens To A Construction Boom

The capital of Laos is a low-rise, low-key city, especially when compared with the hulking high-rises and bustling streets of better-known Southeast Asian cities such as Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
But this once-sleepy city is fast shedding its sedate reputation due to a building boom ahead of international summits that will bring U.S. President Barack Obama, Chinese President Xi Jinping and a host of other world leaders to visit in ….

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Laos Inaugurates Largest Coal-Fired Power Plant Constructed By China

The Hongsa Power Plant (3x626MW), which was constructed by China, was inaugurated in Laos’ northern Xayaboury Province on Wednesday.
The project is currently the first and largest coal-fired power plant project in Laos, which comprises coal mines, transmission lines and power plant. The inaugural ceremony was ….

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Laos pins economic hopes on extra electricity

As Southeast Asia’s energy demands grow, Laos is banking on increased electricity exports to shore up its economy. The tiny country, which has a population of just under 7 million, has been opening a string of large-scale hydropower stations that will boost its total generation capacity by an estimated 70% by the end of the year compared to 2014.
Laos plans to sell 80% of the power it generates to neighboring countries in a bid to achieve ……

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Frontier Markets: Laos Rising

Founded in 2011 with the support of South Korea’s stock exchange (which owns 49%), the Laos Securities Exchange occupies a five story ultra-modern glass building in the capital city of Vientiane
The four companies listed are: Banque Pour Le Commerce Exterieur Lao (BCEL), EDL Generation (EDL-Gen), Lao World (LWPC), and Petroleum Trading Lao (PTL). Needless to say the stocks don’t trade daily, however ….

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Laotian Coffee Prepares To Obtain Geographical Indication

ON THE Bolaven Plateau, Bounthong Thepkaisone waded through his 5-hectare coffee plantation in Mai village, Pakxong district, in Laos’ Champasak province.
For Bounthong, producing coffee is his present and future. The same can be said for many of the 1,855 farmer families in his community that make up the Bolaven Plateau Coffee Producers Cooperative (CPC), an organisation of ….

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Foreigners Banned From Operating Wholesale, Retail Outlets In Laos

Foreigners are prohibited from operating trading outlets or shops whose investment cost is less than 8 billion kip (US$983,380), so that small-scale businesses are reserved solely for Lao nationals, according to a new regulation.
Under the ruling, foreigners are prohibited from investing in a specific trading shop, convenience store, mini-mart, wholesale or ……

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Govt Sets 7.5 Percent Growth Target

The government has set an economic growth target of 7.5 percent for this and next year in an attempt to decrease the trade deficit.
The government measures to meet the planned target received support from the National Assembly (NA) at its ordinary session which concluded last week.
In the session’s draft resolution on approving the government plan, the assembly expressed support for the government targeting 102 trillion kip (around US$12.74 billion) in gross domestic product (GDP) to be created and 14.9 million kip of income per capita this fiscal year which ….

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Parliament Passes Business Competition Law

The National Assembly (NA) yesterday passed the Business Competition Law in a move to ensure that competition between businesses in Laos is carried out in a fair and just manner to boost economic growth.
The decree has only five chapters with 17 articles, while the draft law comprises of nine parts, eight chapters and 84 articles. “Therefore, there is a need to upgrade the decree into law. The content of the law is comprehensive and covers all areas of …..

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Taking Stock In Vientiane

Quiet Lao bourse looks to attract more companies, possibly with the help of dual listings.
Having been open since October 2010, the slow-moving Lao Securities Exchange (LSX) is looking to raise the number of listed companies to about 25 by 2020 from the six that are now trading.
“Our aim is to have a least 25 companies listed by 2020 and we are looking at encouraging many state-owned enterprises and private-sector companies to be on the ……

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Laos’ Economic Agenda

To celebrate the party’s achievements in the past 60 years, a large gathering of senior party leaders and high-ranking party officials was held at which party secretary-general and president of the Lao PDR Choummaly Sayasone delivered the keynote address.
He asserted that the party has remained relevant because it adopted the policy of “self-construction and self-improvement to enhance its strength with endless flexibility.” He cited the so-called renovation policy of 1986 which “replaced the bureaucratically centralized economic mechanism and subsidy-based administration with a ……

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Laos-Myanmar Friendship Bridge Opens

President of Laos Choummaly Sayasone and President of Myanmar U Thein Sein on Saturday officially opened the Laos-Myanmar Friendship Bridge, creating a road link across the Mekong River.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Thongloun Sosoulith said the bridge was a symbol of the close cooperation between Laos and Myanmar. It also reflected the friendship, good relations, solidarity and mutual understanding between the ……

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Business Registration Numbers Falling In Laos

The number of people seeking to do businesses in Laos last year fell by more than half compared to the figure recorded in the previous year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.
The Ministry attributed the shortfall to some difficulties that hindered people from doing businesses and other external factors including the impact from the economic crisis, monetary policy and …..

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Move Over Thailand, the Philippines is Southeast Asia’s Strong Man

With a greater focus on manufacturing, a young population and a president committed to stable growth, the Philippines is pulling ahead
The Philippines is no longer the `sick man of Asia’, Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan declared yesterday after the economy grew a better-than-estimated 6.9 percent last quarter from a year earlier. That capped three successive years of above-6-percent growth, placing it well ahead of Thailand, once a growth engine of ….

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Thailand Places A Coal Plant In Laos

To feed its growing hunger for fuel, Thailand is close to completing one of Southeast Asia’s largest coal-fired power plants. The location? Just over the border in Laos.
The $3.7 billion project can supply power for two million households in Thailand. But heavy resistance to toxic emissions from burning coal, the dirtiest of all fossil fuels, has prompted power companies there to build it in Laos, where standards and opposition are …..

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US Firms Prefer Indonesia, VN and Myanmar; Laos Holds The Least Interest

Indonesia, Vietnam and Myanmar are the top three destinations in Asean for US companies for future expansion despite many challenges, a recent regional survey has found.
Brunei and Laos hold the least interest for respondents in the survey.
The “Asean Business Survey Outlook 2015”, carried out by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Singapore and the US Chamber of Commerce, revealed dissatisfaction with …..

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China’s EximBank Suspends Loans For Roads, Bridges in Laos

Export-Import Bank of China (EximBank), the official export credit agency of the Chinese government, has suspended loans for infrastructure and construction projects in Laos, saying it would prefer to only finance mining and hydro-power ventures, according to Lao sources.
The move is seen by some as an indication of Beijing’s concern over its neighboring communist ally’s ability to repay loans for such projects as roads and bridges in the absence of immediate guarantees.
In the mining sector, for example, natural resources act as ….

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Developer Spends US$100 Million On That Luang Marsh SEZ

The Chinese developer has spent over US$100 million to build infrastructure facilities and condos at That Luang Marsh Specific Economic Zone (SEZ) in Vientiane.
The infrastructure projects include a 50-hectare lagoon, road access to the zone, installation of electricity and water supply facilities and a drainage system.
The Chinese developer is now focusing on building 12 condominium blocks with 18 floors. The company is expecting to spend US$14.5 million to build each block and plans to sell them within 5 years after completion for …..

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Major Cineplex Group To Open Venue In Vientiane

Major Cineplex Group Plc, Thailand’s largest cinema operator, is looking to expand further in Indochina as the region’s entertainment industry develops.
“Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos are fresh entertainment markets, and we should take this opportunity to establish our presence in these countries before our rivals,” said Major Cineplex chairman Vicha Poolvaraluck.
Its first cinema with five screens would open by the end of this year at the ……

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Tourism Potential Draws Top Hotel Chains To Laos

At least 40 hotels, including five international chains, are scheduled to open in Laos over the next five years as the country becomes a more popular tourist destination.
IInternational brands Ramada, InterContinental, Crown Plaza, Sofitel and Marriott are set to open hotels in the capital by 2019. Three global brands – Mercure, Ibis and Best Western – have already opened their doors in Vientiane, and one regional brand has entered the World Heritage Site of Luang Prabang.
Furthermore, 25-30 three- and four-star hotels are set to open in the capital, with some in ….

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Ascott Wins First Franchise Agreement In Vientiane

CapitaLand’s wholly-owned serviced residence business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott), has secured its first franchise agreements in Vientiane, the capital city of Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Laos), and Bali, Indonesia. The agreements are for an operating serviced residence in Vientiane that will be rebranded as a 116-unit Somerset Vientiane in the fourth quarter of ….

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Lao Gov’t Suspends Approval For New Commercial Banks

The Bank of Lao PDR, the nation’s central bank, has announced a suspension of the establishment of new commercial banks in Laos, as it moves to evaluate the current situation in the country’s banking industry.
The suspension applies to investors and legal identities who are not representing an existing bank or group of banking businesses which already have operations in foreign countries. It will be imposed from ….

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Toyota Boshoku Begins Manufacturing In Laos

Toyota Boshoku Corporation has begun manufacturing automobile seat covers in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Manufacturing is being undertaken by TOYOTA BOSHOKU LAO CO., LTD., which was recently established as a satellite to support automobile seat production in Thailand. The seat covers will be supplied to the Thai production base.
As a member nation of the East-West Economic Corridor*1, Laos is convenient for distribution to Thailand, and has stable ….

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Chinese Make $1.4bn Bid For Miner PanAust

PANAUST’S long-term supportive shareholder has turned hostile, proposing a $1.4 billion takeover bid which the target has immediately said materially undervalues its copper and gold assets.
Guangdong Rising Assets Management Co., a state-owned Chinese investment group, offered to take control of PanAust Ltd. (PNA) in a cash bid that values the Laos-focused copper producer at A$1.5 billion ($1.4 billion).
Buying PanAust would give Guangdong Rising control of mines in Laos as well as the ….

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SCG Ready For Bt10 Billion Plant In Laos

SIAM CEMENT GROUP’S board of directors has approved a Bt10-billion investment to build its first cement factory in Laos, as the group continues to expand in Asean.
President and chief executive Kan Trakulhoon said the 1.8-million-tonne-a-year cement plant would be established in Khammouane province, Laos, and was scheduled to begin production in the second quarter of 2017.
“Demand for building materials in the region has continued to grow, especially in Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. This cement plant will mainly serve demand in …..

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JETRO Opens Office In Laos

The Japan External Trade Organization on Monday held an opening ceremony for its Laos office in the capital city of Vientiane.
The new office, expected to be fully operational in July, will be the 74th overseas base and 10th in Southeast Asia for JETRO, a public body which supports foreign investment by Japanese businesses through its network covering ….

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Lao-Thai Train To Provide Logistic Services In 2015

Logistic facilities at Thanalaeng Train Station in Vientiane have begun to take shape after eight months of construction, according to a Lao railway official.
The Lao Railway Authority’s Railway Management Division Chief, Mr Somsana Rasaphone said recently that the new facilities, which will enable the train station to provide freight services, are now some 23 percent complete.
Construction of the container yard and lifting facilities at the train station began at the end of last year and was scheduled to be completed within 18 months. The Lao government hopes to open the rail freight service ahead of the establishment of …

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Govt Vows To Improve Business Environment

The government has vowed to address any barrier that hinders business operation and investment in Laos to boost socio-economic development of the country.
Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong yesterday told business executives that the government would take all their recommendations and proposals into the cabinet’s agenda in a move to bring about a good business operation and investment friendly climate.
Business operators called for the government to introduce clear export and import related policy giving more incentives for their …

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Businesses Urged To Revise Plans As Govt Slashes Spending

A number of businesses ranging from construction firms to office equipment sellers need to revise their business plans following the government announcing its belt tightening policy, according to economists.
“Business leaders in Laos need to adjust their business plans to the reality of the situation so they can run their businesses smoothly,” the Lao National Economic Research Institute said.
In October, the government stopped paying state employees a monthly living allowance of 760,000 kip (US$95) per person as a measure to pay off the country’s debt.
It also announced a suspension of ….

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Mitsubishi To Build Plant In Laos

Japanese electronics maker Mitsubishi will invest US$8 million (260 million baht) in its first production plant in Laos.
MMC Electronics Laos Co signed a lease with an industrial park on the outskirts of the capital, the Vientiane Times reported.
Construction of the plant, which will produce thermostats and temperature control equipment for air conditioners, refrigerators, rice cookers and cars, is to begin immediately and be completed by ….

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Laos, China Vow To Push Railway Project Forward

Laos and China have confirmed they will push forward with the Lao-Chinese railway project while the two countries are still looking for an effective method of cooperation that serves their mutual interest.
The Lao and Chinese governments have come up with a plan to build the 421km railway, which would link Vientiane to the Laos-China border in the coming years.
The Lao side also suggested that China should expand its investment in hydro and lignite power plants as well as provide loans for irrigation development in the central provinces in order to ensure ….

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Chinese Investors Consider Doing Business At That Luang SEZ

Leading ethnic Chinese business people running companies in Thailand are investigating the US$1.6-billion That Luang Specific Economic Zone (SEZ) in Vientiane for possible future investment.The delegation comprised about 15 business people who own factories in Thailand notably related to salt, rice, steel manufacturing and other construction-related businesses.
The That Luang Marsh SEZ is one of the government’s mega-projects that will play a significant role in boosting the socio-economic development of Laos. The government signed a ……

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Japanese Investment Skyrockets In Laos

Japanese investment in Laos has skyrocketed and the prospects remain strong looking forward, according to a leading economic expert in the field.
With strong forecasts for growth, Japanese investors see Laos as a new production base following the improvement of the country’s infrastructure, legal framework and the availability of cheap labour. The latest investors from these countries include Nikon and Toyota, which will both be building part of their production bases in Laos.
The value of Japanese investment in Laos in 2013 reached …..

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Mascot Opens New Workwear Factory In Laos

Danish workwear maker Mascot is continuing its expansion in Southeast Asia with the opening of a newly built factory in Laos.
The new 9,000 square metre production unit becomes the fourth that it operates in the region, and will complement the company’s three existing factories in northern Vietnam.
“Since we obtained the investment license, it has taken less than a year to complete the project, and I am very much looking forward to seeing the first ‘made in Laos’ Mascot-products,” said owner and CEO Michael Grosbøl.
It is expected that the workforce at the Laos factory will reach …..

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Laos Impoves Ranking In Global Corruption Survey

Corruption remains a threat to Laos, and global development, despite the government making progress to tackle the problem, officials noted at an International Anti-Corruption Day event.
According to the annual Corruption Perceptions Index prepared by global anti-corruption body Transparency International, Laos is currently ranked at 140 out of the 177 countries surveyed for the index, which scores countries on how corrupt their public sectors are seen to be. Last year Laos was ranked 160.
“Corruption is one of many negative phenomena having a large effect on ….

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LSX Launches Online Trading Service

Local and foreign investors will find it easier to buy and sell stocks on the Lao Securities Exchange (LSX) with the launch of the Home Trading System earlier this month.
LSX, a Lao-Korean joint venture, launched the new stock trading service so investors can place orders to buy and sell stocks from anywhere in the world with internet access.
People wishing to trade on the LSX are advised to contact one of the two associated security companies, who can provide information on the trading system. Traders must install home trading software and open a bank account so they can access the online system before……

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Abe Discusses Aid, Security In Laos

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Laotian Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong agreed Sunday during their summit to seek the launch of a security dialogue framework.
“I would like to come to a mutual understanding (with Laos on various issues) through dialogue between our foreign and defense officials,” Abe said.
Abe also unveiled Tokyo’s decision to extend yen loans to help Laos expand an airport terminal to back its efforts to improve its infrastructure. In other support for Laos’ development, Abe offered Japanese help for the Southeast Asian country’s health and medical care systems, Japanese officials said.
Abe is on the second and last leg of a two-day trip to Southeast Asiathat took him to ….

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The Pension Time Bomb

The dream of a relaxed and enjoyable retirement is something we all aspire to. Unfortunately not all of us plan well enough to ensure we have sufficient funds to live out our dreams. So what is it we might be getting wrong ?
Firstly, very few people take into account inflation. Our pension providers will quote us a figure that in today’s terms looks reasonable. However if inflation runs on average of …

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Interest Picks Up In Savannakhet Industrial Zone

Before Thailand experienced its crippling floods in 2011 and the minimum wage hike in 2012, the Savan-Seno Special Economic Zone (SEZ), the first of its kind in Laos, was struggling to attract foreign companies. But now the location is gaining notice as a new choice for businesses looking for a low-cost, low-risk location.
Two of the pioneers at the site in Savannakhet have been Toyota Boshoku Asia, a major supplier of seats and interior parts for Toyota, and Nikon, the Japanese camera maker. Their presence is expected to draw other suppliers in the ….

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No More Casinos In Laos: Lengsavad

Laos will no longer grant new concessions for casinos in special economic zones on its soil. It will also overhaul plans for such areas so they have a clear focus and right direction for economic development, Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad said in an interview recently.
“Casinos in special economic zones such as the one in Boten (in the north) have made no good contribution to development and even affected relations between China and Laos, so we don’t want them anymore,” Somsavat said.
The idea to end casino concessions in special economic zones came with a plan to review….

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Investment In Laos Remains Stable Despite Mining Halt

Growth in the investment sector has remained stable despite the government last year halting new investment proposals for mineral extraction and rubber and eucalyptus plantations. An official told the slowdown has yet to impact on the country’s investment sector.
“Although we have suspended new proposals for mining and rubber and eucalyptus plantations until December 31, 2015, domestic and foreign investment in Laos has remained stable,” he said.
“The hydropower and agriculture sectors are starting to slightly replace the loss in the mining sector,” he said, adding that many more businesses are interested in investing in Laos…..

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Labour Shortage A Major Challenge For Investors

Both local and foreign investors operating businesses in Laos have been encountering problems stemming from the chronic labour shortage. “We are experiencing an annual shortfall of labourers in excess of 31,000 people,” said a senior advisor to the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Mr Onesy said that in the midst of this labour shortage, some 100,000 people are crossing the border to seek work in other countries, and there are no controls in place to stop this exodus. Many areas in the central and southern provinces have no young people to work in the rice fields since most prefer to work in other countries, leaving the job ……

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Thailand Aims To Double Trade With Laos

Thailand will discuss with Laos a plan to double bilateral trade to US$8 billion (Bt240 billion) by 2015 from $4 billion in 2011.
The meeting between the Thai Commerce Ministry and the Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce on August 8-9 will discuss the expansion of bilateral trade and investment, aiming to double bilateral trade value by 2015.
Thailand would urge more Thai businesses to invest in Laos. Thailand is currently the third-largest investor in Laos after China and Vietnam. Most of the Thai business investment in Laos is in the mining, energy, agriculture, forestry, and ……

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Economists Project Strong Eonomic Growth In Laos

Economic growth in 2012-13 should reach 8.3 percent if government and foreign investment projects are implemented as planned, according to the National Economic Research Institute (NERI).
The figure was reported yesterday at the ‘Lao Economy in 2012 and Outlook for 2013′ meeting, organised by the institute with support from the World Bank. The economy should continue to grow by 8.2 percent in 2013-14 and 14-2015, according to the NERI.
GDP per capita reached 10.8 million kip (about US$1,349). The agricultural sector grew by 2.8 percent, accounting for 26.7 percent of GDP; the industrial sector grew by ….

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Private Firms Driving Lao Economy

Private firms have become a major driving force of Lao economic growth. In 2011 domestic and foreign private firms contributed 16 percent of total Gross Domestic Product (GDP), becoming the largest contributor to economic growth.
It is not surprising to learn that domestic and foreign private companies are playing a significant role in driving the economy. The government adopted a market oriented policy in 1986, allowing the private sector to take part in economic development after a decade of running a centrally planned economy. The government has also made a strong commitment to improve the business climate, to encourage the private sector to invest and do business in Laos. One of the government’s major achievements has been the easing of restrictions on ……

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ADB Projects Strong Economic Growth For Laos

The Lao economy is expected to grow by about 7.7 percent in 2013 as resource based industries, manufacturing and services continue to generate solid growth, according to a key Asian Development Bank (ADB) report.
According to the publication, the substantial investment flowing into hydropower and mining, coupled with the construction of hotels, offices and residential buildings, will drive this growth. “The outlook for the Lao economy in 2013 is strong, as we see the economy starting a gradual diversification from its overdependence on ……

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Toyota Establishes Production Base In Laos

Toyota established a new vehicle interior components production company, TOYOTA BOSHOKU LAO CO., LTD. in the Savannakhet Province in April. This is the first time the Toyota Boshoku group has built a production base in Laos.
The new company will serve as a satellite complementing the Toyota Boshoku group production base in Thailand. It will start producing …

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Indochina Falling Under Russia’s Influence Again

Russia is returning to Indochina not as a seller of weapons, but by means of investment in these countries by increasing tourism, developing small and medium business and buying real estate. Growing wealth of the Russians, warm climate, and the decline of interest in the dangerous Middle East sector has led to a reorientation of their interest towards Thailand, Vietnam and Laos.
It is tourism, and not large business that plays a crucial role in the struggle for geopolitical influence in Indochina today. Indeed, in ….

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Your Next Nikon SLR Could Be Part Laotian

We all know where our favorite camera brands hail from, but have you ever looked at the sticker on the bottom of your camera to see where it was made? If not, you might be in for a surprise.
Nikon has revealed that it is establishing a new factory in Laos. The Japanese manufacturer is investing approximately 6.3 million US dollars in the project, and expects to have around 800 employees in a 10,000 square meter facility once production begins……

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