Tag Archives: china

Laos Sees Drop in Foreign Direct Investment Inflow

Decrease in Chinese Foreign Direct Investment in Laos

Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow to Laos decreased in 2018 amid a drop in new investment from China, a recent report has shown.

Wildlife In Sights: Pressures On Iconic Tiger, Elephant Draws Media Attention To Challenges Facing Laos

Tiger & Elephant Populations Under Local, Regional, Global Pressure: Laos biodiversity in the international media spotlight.

With the release of a major UN report on biodiversity loss, the state of and threats to wildlife worldwide and in hotspots like Laos including iconic species like the tiger and elephant draw more international media attention, The Laotian Times reports.

The most comprehensive ever completed, the UN Report IPBES Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services found Nature’s Dangerous Decline ‘Unprecedented’; Species Extinction Rates ‘Accelerating’ 

The efforts of one award-winning wildlife defender to shed light on the plight of animals kept at illegal tiger farms posing as zoos in Laos was covered by the Washington Post.

Emaciated Tiger (Washington Post)

Emaciated Tiger (Washington Post)

“They all want hope and happy endings,” The Washington Post quotes Swiss conservationist Ammann as saying of many well-meaning yet naive folk at home and around the world.

“And I don’t see any happy endings. I can’t create fiction from what I see as fact,” 

Alleged Tiger Trader Nikhom Keovised (Washington Post)

Alleged Tiger Trader Nikhom Keovised (Washington Post)

Meanwhile, pachyderms were the focus of coverage by US-based National Public Radio (NPR) ‘A Million Elephants’ No More: Conservationists In Laos Rush To Save An Icon.

“The national government also has a reputation of being supportive of elephant conservation efforts across Laos. Within the last 30 years, catching wild elephants and trading wildlife have been banned. Laws severely restrict the logging industry in its use of elephants. Yet, despite these efforts, “if current trajectories continue there will be no elephants left in Laos by the year 2030,” NPR quoted an article co-written by Chrisantha Pinto, an American biologist at the center, as saying.

Challenges Facing Laos' Wildlife including Iconic Tigers and Elephants (NPR)

Challenges Facing Lao’ Wildlife including Iconic Tigers and Elephants (NPR)

The challenges facing the planet, its plants and animals are real.

What Would Buddha Do?

With a biodiversity hotspot like Laos under pressure from regional and global pressures brought by unsustainable human activity and law-breaking, it’s time to get serious about enforcing the rule of law to protect what natural beauty the country has left for the next generations of our and all species.

Future Electric: EV Destiny Driving Rapidly Towards Laos

Electric Vehicles (EV) closer in Laos with Agreement Between EDl & EVLao

Promising prospects for electric vehicles (EV) in Laos as an agreement signed between power producer ລັດວິສາຫະກິດໄຟຟ້າລາວ EDL and electric-powered vehicle proponents EVLao, The Laotian Times reports.

Looking to industry leaders at manufacturing hotpots like Japan, Germany & China, it would appear the early arrival of the electric age when it comes to motor vehicle transport is already well and truly upon us.

In Laos, a milestone was marked with the holding of the nation’s first electric vehicle summit and MoU signing last week in the capital Vientiane at the very first Lao National Electric Vehicle Summit.

. The agreement will see the trial of vehicle charging stations and technology to push progress towards a future where electric vehicles are more free to traverse the highways and byways of Laos and beyond.

ພາບບັນຍາກາດງານ LAO National Electric Vehicle Summit 2019

Posted by EVLao on ວັນພະຫັດ ທີ 4 ເມສາ 2019

“The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed.” – William Gibson

At a time when technology is progressing faster than ever, these words attributed to futurist and science-fiction writer William Gibson are revealing.

It doesn’t take a genius to guess that in the future, roads in Laos are expected to see many more electric cars than we can see today.

A net electricity exporter and fuel oil importer, one can see the attraction of electric vehicles even before the other benefits are taken into account.

Yet with a transformation this big, there is plenty to consider.

Preparing the socio-economy for the changing needs of the modern era as they quickly transforming with the availability of cleaner energy technologies involves resolutions to complicated challenges.

Given that successful deployment of electric vehicles in Laos requires public and private partnerships, It is important to look at technical mechanisms for using electric vehicles in Laos as well as tax policies and the expected infrastructure investment profiles.

Posted by EVLao on ວັນອາທິດ ທີ 31 ມີນາ 2019

EV Lao and EDL agree to trial electric vehicles

An aim is to study the feasibility of using the electricity system to provide energy-powered vehicles in the Lao PDR.

On the morning of April 2, 2019, at Landmark Hotel in Vientiane, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was held jointly with EV Lao Co., Ltd. between the Lao Electric Power Enterprise EDL and EV Lao Company Limited.

How long until the entire world (& Laos!) has electric cars?

It’s a billion dollar question.

What we do know is that the vehicle fleet in Laos, as in other countries, must become less carbon intensive if we are to avoid the worst effects of catastrophic climate change.

While not exactly at the leading edge of uptake, prospects for electric vehicles in Laos are positive from the current low base.

The movements in the global environment and technical landscape are favoring the development of low carbon transportation in ways never seen before.

Laos will be affected by developments worldwide and in major manufacturing hubs.

The nation’s capacity to benefit will depend on both regulators, public and private sectors to grab a hold of the wheel and steer Laos to a cleaner motoring future.


Electric Vehicles (EV) closer in Laos with Agreement Between EDl & EVLao

Electric Vehicles (EV) closer in Laos with Agreement Between EDl & EVLao

Cabinet Strengthens Gov Agencies Leeway To Act on Land Concessions

Lao Government Revokes Land Concessions

Land Concessions, giving development and usage rights to various individuals and corporate domestic and international investors, has long been considered one of the critical levers to leverage local and foreign investment, economic activity and job creation in Laos.

A form of long term rental, the usage rights to state land have been ceded to investors for projects from shopping malls to banana farms.

As with all investments, the results have been mixed. Amid the successes, it is now those cases of incomplete and inactive investments, environmental pollution and failed developments that have long proved a recurring issue, leading to disquiet for those affected and headaches for Laos’ policymakers, legislators and regulating authorities as Laotian Times has previously reported.

The lack of progress on a total of 81,879 hectares held under some 201 land concession projects has spurred a new round of government efforts to resolve the discrepancies under the country’s laws and respective contract conditions.

Prompting the cabinet to act were the findings of a report indicating that some 240 state land concession projects had been causing environmental damage, the nation’s press representatives were informed on February 20, 2019.

Based on such revelations, country’s cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Thongloun has instructed the country’s state agencies to revoke the land concession licenses held by investors who fail to proceed with developments in accordance with their agreements.

The meeting also approved measures to encourage investors to develop the land for which they had received concessions.

Measures approved include the authorization for state agencies to cancel concessions or fine those companies that fail to utilize state property in ways they were required to under the agreements they signed, government spokesperson Dr Chaleun Yiapaoher told the press conference held at the conclusion of the monthly cabinet meeting held on Wednesday.

Other key topics discussed include measures to improve the business climate, tax collection, rural area development and urban planning for the future needs of the capital towards 2030 and beyond.

The latest moves by the government to regulate and in cases revoke rights for failure to abide by agreements in state land concession projects comes after National Assembly members debated the issue in December.

Foremost among several cases of complaints from local communities aired at the National Assembly regarded pollution caused as a result of the activities at banana plantations in several provinces.

It saw the NA resolve that the government agencies actively push such concession holders to ensure their investments and activities abide by contract conditions for the use of state land while complying with related laws and policies.

The cabinet directed state agencies and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to improve assessment of all land in question following the laws and guidelines before granting investors the right to a concession.

This could also better permit the Ministry of Finance to collect revenue in the form of land concession fees from project developers, Dr Chaleun said.

Land concession projects could only be approved in accordance with national and provincial land development master plans approved by the relevant authorities, investors and agencies were reminded.

Relevant state agencies were also instructed to work together to ensure that forests and other wildlife habitat areas were protected from damage by investment projects.

Fireworks, Parades, Military & Political Milestones: Lao Armed Forces At 70

Lao People's Army Celebrates 70 Years Milestone

More than just an anniversary, the celebrations for the 70 years of the Lao Armed Forces on January 20 also a provide a handy milestone in the Lao political cycle.

That wasn’t just a half hour of fireworks on That Luang Esplanade and the biggest parade by the nation’s troops in a decade.

Last weekend’s celebration of the 70 years of the Lao Armed Forces was also a forum for international military-military links and a milestone in the Lao political cycle that marks three years since the previous Party Congress and two years until the next.

Lao Armed Forces Show off Russian-made Tanks at 70th Anniversary parade

Lao Armed Forces Show off Russian-made Tanks at 70th Anniversary parade

Kommadam Academy of the Ministry of National Defense in Naxaythong district was the venue for the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Lao People’s Army. There the Armed Forces showcased the capacities of members and their equipment in service of the people of Laos.

(Image KPL)

The event was an eye catcher, bringing together the nations front line serving military personnel and hardware in a way that is rarely witnessed in peacetime Laos.

Photographers from local and international news agencies snapped images of equipment including theYak-130 advanced jet trainer appearing, in this case caught on image via news agencies such as China’s Xinhua.

However, it was images of the personnel themselves that proved quite gripping and potentially fear-inducing.

The parade was broadcast by Lao National Television and partners including Lao Star TV.

Live ພີທີສະເຫຼີມສະຫຼອງວັນສ້າງຕັ້ງກອງທັບປະຊາຊົນລາວ ຄົບຮອບ 70 ປີ [ 20-01-2019]

Live ພີທີສະເຫຼີມສະຫຼອງວັນສ້າງຕັ້ງກອງທັບປະຊາຊົນລາວ ຄົບຮອບ 70 ປີ [ 20-01-2019]

Posted by LAO STAR TV on ວັນເສົາ ທີ 19 ມັງກອນ 2019

As in Laos as much as anywhere, such an event to honor a nation’s armed forces is also attended by the country’s most powerful civilian as well as military leaders, past and present.

As such, the event was held in the presence of Party and government leaders including President Bounnhang Vorachit, Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, senior military officials, former leaders, foreign military officials and representatives of mass organizations.

The event comes some three years to the day since the 10th Lao People’s Revolutionary Party Congress in January 2016 and some two years out from the next. A Party Congress helps set policy directions and can have lasting influence not only on the fate of the nation but on the career trajectories of its delegates alike.

LPRP Secretary General, President of Laos Mr Bounnhang Vorachit speaks at Lao People's Armed Forces 70th Anniversary Parade. (Image KPL)

LPRP Secretary General, President of Laos Mr Bounnhang Vorachit speaks at Lao People’s Armed Forces 70th Anniversary Parade. (Image KPL)

The event comes after Lao Defence Minister Chansamone Chanyalath’s promotion to the rank of General – the highest rank in the Lao People’s Army – in 2018.

Presidents of the Lao PDR present and former standing to attention as military leaders salute.

Presidents of the Lao PDR present and former standing to attention as military leaders salute.

While Laos remains under civilian rule under the LPRP, military service and familial connections provide one of the fertile sources for political capital in the country’s single party system.

International attendance was also up.

A number of foreign military delegations, including those from Vietnam, China, Cambodia, Russia, Myanmar and Thailand, as well as representatives from diplomatic corps and international organizations also attended.

Alongside the closely politically aligned neighbors namely Vietnam and China, capturing the recent headlines in military relations with Laos has been Russia.

While the export of some 30 famed T-34 tanks from Laos to Russia grabbed global headlines recently, some more modern kit has been heading the other way.

Conspicuous among the hardware on display were modern T-72 tanks and BRDM-2M armored cars reported Russia’s Sputnik News Agency via globalsecurity.org

Russia’s Head of the Directorate General for international military cooperation Aleksandr Klimovsky stated that Moscow had opened a military office in Laos while at the parade in the country’s capital of Vientiane on Sunday.

High level as to be expected, the Vietnamese delegation to the event was led by Politburo member and Minister of National Defence, General Ngo Xuan Lich. With his Lao counterpart General Chansamone, he presided over the start of repair work at the Lao capital’s Museum of Military History with the granting of some 13 billion kip (1.5 Million USD).

Not to be outdone, China was also conspicuous in its generosity, handing over a medical ward at Vientiane’s Military Hospital 103. Covering 24,000 square it meters, is equipped with nearly 300 beds and six operating rooms, and can provide medical treatments for approximately 3,000 outpatients each day.

Later the same evening, ground shaking booms and shimmering explosives were felt and indeed seen from vantage points across Vientiane on January 20 as the country’s Armed Forces marked 70 years since its establishment with a generous pyrotechnic display above That Luang Stupa, the nation’s “heart”.

Members of the public sat in the back of parked pickup trucks or stood with camera phones raised in wonder as the booms echoed across the flat and reflective asphalt surfaces to take in the spike in sight and sound.

The pyrotechnics were the biggest to be witnessed in the capital since December 2015 for the marking of the 40th Anniversary of the establishment of the People’s Democratic Republic.

Amid the pyrotechnic bombast, one could easily imagine a twinkle in the eye of another Lao warrior, the leader King Setthathirat, whose statue sits ever perched upon his elevated pedestal in front of the golden stupa.

Lao People's Army Celebrates 70 Years Milestone

Lao People’s Army Celebrates 70 Years Milestone

$US199 Plus Tax Flights Vientiane To Shanghai via Lao Airlines

Chinese New Year is just around the corner, and there is yet another reason to celebrate with flights to China’s glitzy and advanced economic metropolitan magnet Shanghai from the capital of Laos, Vientiane.

Flights from Vientiane to Shanghai for $US199 + tax are expected to light up the departure boards at Wattay International Airport with flag carrier Lao Airlines preparing to head north and back four times a week starting from the 28th of January.

Advertisements for the route to the coastal Chinese economic powerhouse began popping up online.

Confirmation, details via Lao Airlines’ own social media and website were still pending January 18 local time.

PM Thongloun Pushes Laos-made at China International lmport Expo in Shanghai

China International Import Expo

Laos’ Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith was in China’s major economic city Shanghai pushing the Made-in-Laos message as the country’s policymakers and entrepreneurs seek to leverage increased connectivity to the massive consumer market on its doorstep at the China International Import Expo.

The move comes as Chinese President Xi Jinping said Monday that China’s initiative to expand imports as part of its economic transition was “not makeshift, but long-term consideration of embracing the world and future while promoting common development”.

The import expo features two exhibitions, the first focusing on the Belt and Road countries’ trade and investment opportunities, in sectors including goods and services, tourism and nations’ featured products.

The second shines a light on consumer electronics, auto, clothing, food, medical equipment, service outsourcing and education.

Hongqiao International Trade Forum was also set to be held during the expo with state leaders, ministers, heads of international organizations, business representatives and academia.

China International Import Expo

China International Import Expo

Import Expo Chance for China to Push Economic Opportunity, Vision at Home, Abroad Amid US Uncertainties 

Many countries had seen economic growth via exports to China in the past five years, president of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation at the Ministry of Commerce Zhang Jianping told a news conference for the CIIE on Friday.

“China has a large-sized middle class and will become the world’s biggest consumer market in a few years. If we increase imports from other countries, it will help many nations involved in the Belt and Road Initiative share in China’s rapid growth.”

Nations’ Leaders meet ahead of Expo
Prime Minister Thongloun met Chinese President Xi Jinping the previous day ahead of the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) opening Monday in Shanghai, China.org.cn reported.

Welcoming PM Thongloun, Xi described the China-Laos relationship as “at its best in history”, saying the two countries should carry out closer strategic communication and enhance exchanges on political party and state governance experiences.

In his meeting with the Chinese president, Thongloun said major projects such as the China-Laos railway are being steadily carried out. Laos had gained practical benefits from the joint efforts in developing the Belt and Road Initiative, Thongloun said, expressing thanks for the support and assistance provided by the Chinese side.

Promoting the optimizing and upgrading of practical cooperation and advance the construction of the China-Laos economic corridor was also pushed by the Chinese President, who heralded efforts to ensure the smooth progress in the building of the China-Laos railway, strengthened cooperation in fields regarding people’s livelihoods and disaster relief and called for a well-organized China-Laos Year of Tourism next year as well as initiatives under the Lancang-Mekong cooperation framework.


Looking North: Opportunity has Laos’ Young Entrepreneurs Eyeing China

Lao Young Entrepreneurs Delegation

Partners from China willing to invest in business opportunities in Laos to supply outsized demands in their giant home market are in the sights of a delegation representing Lao Young Entrepreneurs Association that departed Vientiane’s Wattay Airport yesterday bound for a meet that follows the China-ASEAN Expo held earlier this month in the same city.

Mr Khamsene Sisavong, President of the Young Entrepreneur Association of Laos, is leading a group of young businesspeople that will join regional counterparts to attend a conference in Nanning from September 26-27. 

On offer are opportunities to produce goods and services in Laos or the Chinese market, one of the largest in the world with a population of 1.3 billion people.

“We have to find our business potential.” 

Transportation between Laos and China will no longer be an onerous barrier with the commissioning of the Lao-China Railway due in 2021.

Khamsense said Asean and China have signed a free trade agreement that aims to end tariff barriers, meaning exports and imports in the region will be easier, both to and from Laos.

However, Laos needs partnerships with Chinese firms to produce goods and value-add to Lao products for this vast, complicated and nuanced market. “Laos has the policies and the potentials to produce goods for the Chinese market. However, these policies will not be possible without the participation of Chinese businesses.”

He said Chinese firms have access to finance and technology that can be utilised with Lao partners so that they will be in a fine position to produce for the Chinese market when the railway is operational, he said.

Opportunities in Agribusiness

Agribusiness is a sector that can help make the most from Laos’ vast tracts of fertile land and youthful rural labor force to supply clean, safe food products and agricultural inputs to the vast and fast-moving Chinese market.

Yet no matter the sector, he said young entrepreneurs from Laos ought to be aware of growing competition in Asean and China, and it is time for them to explore business opportunities and take calculated risks so that they and their country can become successful.