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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Vientiane Capital Takes Stand Against Non-Compliant Signs

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Vientiane authorities have commenced a mission to inspect and remove illegal signs across the capital following the emergence of numerous signs that do not comply with regulations.

Viengphone Keokhounsy, the Director of the Information, Culture, and Tourism Department in Vientiane, led a team of officials on 24 May to initiate a campaign to change and remove shop signs. The first target of this operation was the Xang Jieng Market in Sikhottabong district.

During their assessment of the market, the team observed that many shop fronts displayed business names and descriptions inconsistently in terms of style, color, and size. Additionally, these signs often made improper use of both Lao and foreign languages. Many signs were also put up without permission, and without paying the appropriate fees, resulting in an unattractive mix of lettering.

The primary concern highlighted by Viengphone was the improper use of the Lao language, with much of it being added to signs in Chinese. She noted that the rapid growth of shops has led to the accumulation of unauthorized foreign signs, making it challenging for authorities to keep track of the violators.

While only the Xiang Jiang market has been investigated so far, the authority noted that the crackdown operation will continue across the entirety of the capital. 

According to a government decree, all signs must prominently feature the Lao language, placed at the top and in the most prominent position. Any foreign language should be displayed underneath, in a smaller size.

A similar operation was carried out in Luang Prabang in October last year when the provincial Information, Culture, and Tourism Office took steps to remove illegal advertising signs from the city. 

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