Asia, Europe Should Cement Cooperation To Narrow Development Gap: Laos

Asia and Europe should strengthen cooperation to narrow the development gap that remains wide, Laos has told the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (Asem12) in Brussels, Belgium.

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Plain Of Jars Potential As Unesco World Heritage Site Considered

A meeting will be held this week in Xieng Khuang province to report on the progress made for the consideration of the Plain of Jars (Thong Hai Hin) as a potential UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Provincial SME’s Need Regulatory Burden Relief, Swifter Tax Registration

Authorities need to reduce the regulatory burden or “red tape” that businesses face in conducting their activities due to rules and regulations so that their compliance costs can be cut to increase their efficiency.

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Improved Business Environment To Support Sustainable Growth In Lao PDR

Lao firms and households are expected to benefit from a new US$13-million project, which will promote reforms to the business environment, for instance reducing the number of days needed to start a business.

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Two More Years To Meet Laos’ Development Plan: Minister

Natural disasters coupled with global economic and political uncertainty have had a direct impact on the implementation of the 8th Five-Year National Socio Economic Development Plan (NSEDP 2016-20), according to a senior government official.

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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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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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Lao Dam Collapse Caused by Heavy Rains, Faulty Construction: Minister

A high-ranking Lao official suggested Thursday that a dam collapse earlier this week in Attapeu province was the result of faulty construction and said the project’s developer should be held accountable, as the death toll from flooding has reached 30, with more than 20 hospitalized for injuries.

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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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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 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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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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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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