President Bounnhang Vorachit has instructed LuangPrabang authorities to make full use of the province’s tourism and agriculture potential to drive development and improve local livelihoods.
The president gave the advice at his first stop on a visit to the northern provinces of LuangPrabang and Xayaboury, which began yesterday.
President Bounnhang advised provincial leaders to expand service businesses to outlying districts where potential remains untapped, to cater to the growing number of visitors to the world heritage site, which is increasingly popular.
The service industry in LuangPrabang mainly comprises hotels, guesthouses, and restaurants.
He instructed the authorities to do more to encourage local people and businesses to produce more foodstuffs, especially locally sourced items that are characteristic of the region, to cater to the growing needs of tourists.
President Bounnhang, who is also Secretary General of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, also suggested that more creativity was needed in the making of handicrafts that visitors bought as souvenirs.
In addition, he advised the province to work harder in educating the local population to meet development needs by expanding and improving education systems in all respects, in line with the government’s education reform plan.
It was especially important to train people to work in the service sector in order to maximise the province’s tourism potential, he added.
The president also stressed the need for the province to continue the search for and to formulate incentives and measures to promote investment in impoverished areas in an attempt to improve livelihoods in rural communities.
The authorities were also told to improve healthcare services and to promote local culture.
Presi dent Bounnhang urged officials to ensure that state investment projects overseen by the province were implemented effectively and that budgets were strictly adhered to.
He told provincial leaders to pay special attention to preventing and tackling illegal trade, drug-related issues and traffic accidents, and to be vigilant in responding to natural disasters. The province was one of several areas in Laos that were heavily hit by weather extremes this year.
The president also stressed the need for the province to closely follow the Party’s Three Builds directive. This aims to build provinces as strategic units, districts as comprehensively strengthened units, and villages as development units.
President Bounnhang praised provincial authorities for their achievements over past years that had seen LuangPrabang enjoy considerable economic growth, security, and social order.
During the meeting, provincial authorities called on the president to help push for the realisation of the planned construction of the 1,400MW Mekong hydropower dam. An initial survey for the project, located in LuangPrabang province, has been carried out by a Vietnamese company.
Source: Vientiane Times