New British Embassy building in Vientiane will be officially opened on 2 April, Ambassador Philip Malone told a press conference yesterday.
Following a 27-year absence, the UK re-established its presence in the Lao PDR with symbolic opening of the British Embassy in Vientiane on November 2012 by Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the Rt Hon Hague MP. Mr. Hague visited Laos to attend the 9th ASEM Summit, the first-ever visit to Laos by a British Foreign Minister.
Now four months on, the Embassy is fully established with a new team of staff in place and a renovated building on Rue Nehru. To mark this fact, the Embassy is organising a weeklong series of events from April 2 to promote the UK’s return to Laos. “We are delighted to open the new Embassy building with a high-performing team ready to assist British citizens in Laos and further British interests here and in the region,”noted Ambassador Philip Malone.
The first week’s events will span a wide range of British interests in Laos. To think all of the individuals and organizations who have been key in helping the British Embassy in its start up stages over the past six months. On April 3 the Embassy will host the first gathering of a British Business Club at the Settha Palace Hotel to bring together individuals and companies working for or concerning British business interest in Laos.
April 4 will see UK Chevening scholarship Alumni and Lao students who have studied in the UK. Ambassador Philip Malone added that we want to focus more on Asia given the growing political and economic influence of region so we increased our present and resource to this area and of part of that we want to reopen here in the Lao PDR, a country with is emerging in both economic term with its current healthy growth rate and in political term with its hosting of ASEM last year, membership of WTO and future chairmanship of ASEAN in 2016.
What does this mean in term of our specific work here, British Government has three keys strategic priorities in foreign policy safeguarding, our security, building our prosperity and supporting British citizens around the world.
Ambassador Philip Malone added: we have around 35,000 visitors every year, and around 100 who live here on a long term basis. The ambassador added that his embassy will promote education, including through Chevening scholarship scheme and value agenda in particular human rights, work on environmental, and climate change issues.