Japan to Grant USD 3.5 Million in Support of Laos’ 2024 ASEAN Chairmanship

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On November 28, a signing ceremony for “the Exchange of Notes for the Economic and Social Development Plan (Support for ASEAN Chairmanship)” was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Vientiane.

The notes were signed and exchanged by the Ambassador of Japan to Laos, Mr. KOBAYASHI Kenichi, and Lao Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Thongphane Savanphet, and witnessed by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Saleumxay Kommasith.

Laos will assume the role of ASEAN chair in 2024.  In support of this, the Government of Japan will provide grant aid of JPY 500 million (approximately USD 3,632,000).

Support from Japan includes the provision of 33 hybrid vehicles for ministerial-level transportation and network system equipment, wireless LAN equipment, and firewall equipment for the National Convention Center and ICTC (International Training and Cooperation Center), which are necessary for various ASEAN conferences to be held throughout the year.

The automobiles provided will be environmentally-friendly hybrid vehicles to support the Lao government’s efforts to address environmental issues and greenhouse gas emissions.

In comparison to the previous ASEAN chairmanship in Laos in 2016, delegations and media from the participating countries will require high-performance, high-capacity communications to undertake their duties in 2024.

As such, it is necessary to install high-performance equipment to provide these services.

It is also exceptionally important for international conferences to protect critical communications from the threat of online attacks such as cyber-terrorism.

The ASEAN Summit and related meetings were recently held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. At the “ASEAN-Japan Summit Meeting” attended by Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida, Prime Minister of Laos, Dr. Phankham Viphavanh, and counterparts, it was agreed that a “Special ASEAN-Japan Summit Meeting” would be held in Tokyo next year in 2023.

Japan and ASEAN have been cooperating for nearly 50 years to promote peace, stability, development, and prosperity in the Southeast Asian region and beyond, and have also forged close economic ties as business investment and trading partners.

Japan has continued to support ASEAN and its members, based on the understanding that it is important for the stability and prosperity of the entire region that ASEAN, as the center of regional cooperation, deepens its integration as a partner that shares values such as the rule of law and democracy.

In this context, Japan will continue to support the Lao government and people in addressing the various challenges that Laos is facing, for the successful implementation of the 2024 ASEAN-related meetings and the further development of Japan-Laos and Japan-ASEAN relations now and in the future.