Tag Archives: prime minister

Laos, Cambodia PMs Agree To Continue Joint Patrols in Disputed Area

Border Discussion as Cambodia PM Hun Sen Visits Laos

The governments of Laos and Cambodia have agreed in Vientiane to continue efforts to de-escalate tensions in a disputed border area.

The agreement was made during Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to Vientiane yesterday at the invitation of Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith.

Thongloun said Laos highly valued the visit of Hun Sen and his delegation as a significant contribution to enhancing relationship and cooperation between the two countries in all areas.

The two prime ministers also presided over the signing ceremony of documents on education, cultural and art cooperation, among others.

During their meeting, both sides agreed to an ongoing prohibition on various activities in the disputed border areas with a view to future resolution.

At a press conference shortly after the bilateral talks, Thongloun said both sides reaffirmed their intention to enhance the long-standing friendly relations, cooperation and solidarity between the two countries in the spirit of mutual respect and interests.

The Lao and Cambodian leaders reiterated that Kengtomokhoy-Huaytangao area is an unresolved area where no military forces are expected to be present, no people are expected to live or do business.

The area must be patrolled together by both sides using land, water and arial (drone) means.

The latest visit follows ongoing discussions that have been held to reduce tensions in the long-running dispute that flared up in August 2017 after which Mr Hu. The pair have also met regularly at ASEAN meets including in this year’s host, Singapore.

Official demarcation of the boundary between the two nations has not yet been fully completed since their liberation from colonial rule, and tiffs over border locations have been common in the past, the Laotian Times reported in 2017.

Photo: Lao Post

Prime Minister Declares Land as Focus for Transport Development

Prime-Minister Thongloun Sisoulith

During the annual conference of the Public Works and Transport sector held this week, Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith cautioned that decisions regarding water and air transportation projects must be thoroughly thought out in future.

The Prime Minister emphasized land transport to be the primary focus of transportation development in the country. He commended the sector for their accomplishments over the past forty years, noting that tremendous progress had been made in infrastructure development.

During the meeting, a number of leaders and officials from the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, along with other participants including business professionals and retired officials, were reminded of the government’s efforts in converting the country from landlocked to land-linked and to create a transportation hub in the region.

A massive venture in this regard, PM Thongloun mentioned the expansion of the 3.5 km Laos-Thailand Railway to 7.5 km, a plan to build a railway to connect Khammuan Province’s capital to a port in Vietnam and the highly anticipated Laos-China Railway, among other projects.

Prime Minster Thongloun Sisoulith at the Public Works and Transport Sector Meeting

The Prime Minister has also disclosed information about a recent meeting with deputy prime ministers,  confirming a continued cooperation with Thailand and the development of a road system valued at 2 billion baht.

The PM stated,“From the geographic specification of our country, we have to focus on land transportation as key to the heart of transportation, travel and tourism.”

He urged the Ministry to improve the quality of road infrastructure by strategically planning and completing any road projects that had already been initiated, but to avoid the implementation of several projects simultaneously in fear of inadequate completion.

When referring to Build, Operate and Transfer projects, Prime Minister Thongloun specified that alternative options must be available aside from tollways.

The PM highlighted Lao civil aviation, stating that he appreciated the sector having received certification from the International Civil Aviation Organisation on Universal Safety, after scoring 73 percent in an audit.

However, Lao civil aviation services remain behind other ASEAN countries and need improvement in service quality. Detailed studies on any plans for airport construction were called upon, with the PM counseling against the construction airports in provinces that have no demand for passenger flights, such as Attapeu Province, where the airport was recently shut down.

When questioned whether water transportation could be an option for the country, the PM admirably reasoned with the Ministry to consider the matter thoroughly, wisely stating, “Do not do any unreasonable projects on the Mekong River. Let it be the river of life, it’s enough for small boats to float on it.” He continued making his case by referring to the Mekong River as the “Mother of property” and “Mother of life” to dependant citizens settled in the region.

Regarding the matter of urban planning and housing, Mr Thongloun proposed conserving old historic buildings while planning to develop more modern structures as well.

Prime Minister Thongloun is imploring the Ministry to be stricter on the rules and regulations to prohibit unregulated construction of residences and the violation of town and city plans.

An Interview with Thongloun Sisoulith, Prime Minister of Laos

Prime Minister of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith

A senior news reporter from Thailand, Mr Suthichai Yoon, released a frank and interesting video interview with Dr Thongloun Sisoulith, Prime Minister of Laos. In this friendly exchange, the Lao prime minister opened up about managing a country, and the direction of the Lao government. In the most interesting part, the prime minister of Laos states that the goal of becoming the ‘battery of Asia’ is overly ambitious.

View the video below or click here to view in YouTube:

 

Lao Government to Forgo Luxury Vehicles

Luxury Vehicles in Laos

The Party and Government have agreed to forgo luxury vehicles in a new bid to curb excessive spending and promote frugality. Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith made the announcement during a two-day meeting on the socio-economic development plan and the budget for 2017.

The Prime Minister raised the issue of frivolous luxury vehicles when addressing central and local departments, singling out leaders driving Mercedez-Benz and BMW brand vehicles. He said that these vehicles would be reclaimed, and sold through a bidding process.

His reasons for the tough stance included the high cost of fuel and maintenance for such vehicles, which are not economical, saying that the value of one Mercedez-Benz was equal to three Toyota vehicles. He then added that he would start with the President’s car, and would of course be pleased to hand his own luxury vehicle back to the state as well.

Top ranking officials and retired leaders make up eleven BMW 7 Series cars, and five Mercedez-Benz (S350 and E350) vehicles. The remainder of the government fleet includes 30 Mercedez-Benz, which were initially purchased for state affairs.

Many leaders currently hold more than one vehicle, and a reduction of surplus vehicles will be considered as well.

New Decree to Govern Use Of Luxury Vehicles

Prime Ministerial Decree No. 81 on the use of state vehicles is now being amended and brought in line with the new push to curb spending, and will likely prohibit the use of luxury vehicles altogether.

Under the amended decree, Politburo members will be entitled to drive a Toyota Camry 3.0, ministers a Camry 2.5, and deputy ministers will be entitled to a Camry 2.0, while other vehicles such as SUVs and pick-up trucks may be provided to leaders as appropriate.

The new decree is expected to clarify regulations on vehicle allocation for civil servants and leading officials, and will outline which vehicles are to be reclaimed upon retirement.