June 30, 2016

South Korea Hopes To Win Cambodia & Laos Over In North Korea Containment Visit

By:  Forbes Magazine, Fanny Potkin, June 29, 2016

South Korea’s Vice Defense Minister Hwang In-Moo is visiting Cambodia and Laos this week, as part of a global bid to court countries close to North Korea, which continues to openly defy U.N sanctions, with its most recent missile launch having taken place on June 22.

June 27, 2016

Laos: A fragment of the past, a snapshot of the present

By:  CNN, June 27, 2016

(CNN) - A torn black and white picture of a beautiful Buddhist stupa is itself photographed next to the actual building, in all its golden finery. Two images of the same structure taken half a century apart. It's a simple concept, but a powerful representation of a lost past and a transient present.

Photo Credit:  Thanavorakit Kounthawatphinyo

June 22, 2016

Lao Prime Minister Doesn't Want Business as Usual For The Timber Industry

By:  Radio Free Asia (RFA), June 20, 2016

Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith has told local authorities in the southern province of Attapeu that the government is changing the way it handles the logging business.

Since Thongloun took over as prime minister in April, he has made cracking down on the illegal trade a priority for the Lao government as authorities attempt to reign in the exploitation of a natural resource.

Photo Credit:  RFA, May 2015

June 21, 2016

Creative Solutions to Laos’ Ongoing Problem with Conflict Weapons

By: Forrest Curran, Triplepundit.com, June 17, 2016

Bombs were dropped on Laos every eight minutes, 24 hours a day, for nine years; or the equivalent of 1,000 pounds for every Laotian person. But very few know about this outside of Laos.

Today many of these bombs still sit active underground, known as unexploded ordinance (UXO): 30 percent of what was dropped on the country failed to detonate and is presently alive underground. This chilling legacy from the bombing campaign that lasted from 1964 through 1973 still prevents Laos from attaining self-sufficiency and has locked the country into a cycle of poverty.

June 15, 2016

Apparently guys can wear pa seen too!

...or perhaps not.  Fashion statement or fashion faux pas?  Have a look for yourself.

Photo Credit:  Unknown

June 09, 2016

Kunming-Singapore rail link stuck in Laos

By:  Reuters, June 5, 2016

For the southwestern city of Kunming, China’s plan to extend a high-speed rail link 3,000km south to Singapore is already a boon – pristine expressways, a gleaming station and something of a real estate boom, as young buyers crowd property showrooms.

But in Laos, work has yet to start on what should be the first overseas leg of a rail line stretching throughout Southeast Asia.

The country, one of the region’s poorest, could struggle to finance even part of the US$7 billion (RM29 billion) cost and has yet to agree financial terms with China.

Tough times in the Lao garment industry

By:  Vanthana Nolintha, Lao National Economic Research Institute (NERI), June 3, 2016
Posted on:  EastAsiaForum.org

The Lao garment industry has been on the decline. The value of exports increased from US$87 million in 1995 to a peak of US$219 million in 2011, before gradually falling to US$174 million in 2015. The share of garments in total exports also declined from an average of 36 per cent during 2001–2005, to only 8 per cent during 2011–2015.

Photo:  Laotian textile factory workers at work sewing clothes for export to Europe.
Credit:  AAP

June 08, 2016

Tree planting looks set to fall short of target in Laos

By:  The Vientiane Times, June 5, 2016

Laos will only be able to plant about 80 per cent of the government’s plan for tree seedlings after forestry operations delayed planting while they observed the trend in timber prices.
The Laotian Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry this year planned to encourage other government bodies and the private sector to plant about 24,000 hectares of trees and reforest over 200,000 hectares for environmental protection and to increase green areas.

Laos cracks down on social media critics

By:  Preeti Jha, Al-Jazeera News, June 6 2016

Vientiane, Laos - With their heads hung low, three Laos nationals quietly apologise on state TV for betraying the country through anti-government Facebook posts, a striking parade of apparent confessions in the communist regime's latest crackdown on dissent.

Photo: Soukan Chaithad and Somphone Phimmasone on Laos national TV
Credit:  Preeti Jha, Al Jazeera

June 07, 2016

High service costs challenge Laos' tourism business

By:  Vientiane Times June 6, 2016

VIENTIANE - The high cost of tour services in Laos is a major challenge for Lao tourism businesses when it comes to competing within the ASEAN region.

Median expenditure level for a traveller in Laos is about US$65 a day, while in neighbouring ASEAN countries average visitors paid only US$45, President of the Lao Association of Travel Agents, Mr Somphong Deviengxay told Vientiane Times yesterday.

June 06, 2016

Vientiane Times Music Videos

Laos' national English language newspaper, The Vientiane Times, came out with 3 music videos to help celebrate and promote the work that they do.  They also show all the hardworking people who work behind the scenes to churn out the newspaper.  The songs are pretty good too!

Here's the first video:
Video Credit:  Vientiane Times