Visit Laos Year 2018 Launched along with That Luang Festival 2017

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Visit Laos Year 2018 Launched along with That Luang Festival 2017

Create: 30/10/2017 09:25

Soukthavy Thephavong

(KPL) Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith announced on Saturday the launch of Visit Laos Year 2018 and annual That Luang Festival celebration in the presence of ministers, foreign diplomats, senior officials of Vientiane Capital, representatives of international organizations and Vientiane residents.

The government has set an ambitious plan to have at least 5 million foreigners visiting the country over the next twelve months and to have at least US$ 900 million generated as incomes for the country by foreign visitors.

“Over the past years, the government of Laos PDR has come to regard tourism as a priority sector for driving the socio-economic development of the country. Tourism brings spending on goods and services that can boost currency reserves and circulation of money in the country and create more job opportunities for people in service and production sectors, particularly agriculture and handicraft production,” said Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Bosengkham Vongdara, who also wears another had as Vice President of the National Committee for Visit Laos Year 2018.

Laos has already organized the Visit Laos Year twice – one in 1999-2000 and another one in 2011-2012 –to promote tourism industry and attract more visitors to Laos.

“The official launch sees us considering ‘Visit Laos Year 2018’ as a most important activity. The effort does not only seek to promote tourism but also aim to preserve unique culture and fine traditional culture of Laos. Also the visit Laos Year 2018 will, directly and indirectly, stimulate the country’s economic sectors, particularly tourism related businesses,” said the minister.

The Visit Laos Year 2018 will comprise activities to be organized in Laos and abroad. These will include festivals in various provinces across the country.

That Luang

“This year’s That Luang Festival is significant because we have completed the fourth restoration project of That Luang stupa as anticipated. The project comprises eight significant components. Nevertheless, the most significant one is many kilograms of gold have been placed atop the That Luang Stupa and 30 surrounding smaller spires splendidly. Also, a golden Buddha image has been moulded and resides at That Luang, serving a significant symbol for That Luang restoration project and consecration ceremony of That Luang Stupa,” said the minister.

That Luang Festival is organized each year and comprises activities. This year, due to the launch of the Visit Laos Year 2018, That Luang Festival trade fair focuses on promoting One District One Products (ODOP), products produced by model families, SME products and agriculture and handicraft products as well as the exhibition of local and foreign tourism products.

This year’s That Luang Festival trade fair is organized in two venues: Lao ITECC comprising 460 booths of local and foreign companies and That Luang Esplanade comprising 640 booths, of which three owned by foreign countries.

The festival also features the display of Lao style houses, cultural performance and activities related to worship for That Luang Stupa as well as cultural and religious affairs.

The areas surrounding That Luang Stupa and nearby areas have been arranged as a seating place for festival goers to watch wax castle processions in the north of That Luang. In addition, That Luang Esplanade and areas surrounding the stupa are well organized for people to watch Tiky (Lao hockey) and give alms to monks and carry out candlelight processions.

KPL

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Laos, Japan forge new economic partnership

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Laos, Japan forge new economic partnership

(Vientiane Times) Laos and Japan are pushing towards greater economic development cooperation as the relationship between both governments reached a new height on Wednesday.

Japan currently ranks as the top donor for infrastructure and social development project in Laos. Last March, the government of Japan approved grant of US$32 million to Laos for development initiatives in electricity, health and transportation.

 

In Vientiane on Wednesday, a memorandum of understanding to build business and investment relationships was signed between the Acting Director of the investment Promotion Department of the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), Mr Achong Laomao, and the Head of Asia and Oceania Unit of Mizuho Bank, Mr Hiroshi Suehiro. The signing ceremony was attended by the Minister of Planning and Investment Mr Somdy Douangdy, Japanese Ambassador to Laos, Mrs Junko Yokota, and senior officials from the two countries.

It marked the first MOU which the MPI has ever signed with foreign institution. It will be one of the most effective means to promote investment and develop trust between both parties in a project which will see Japanese investors expand their business interests to Laos.

Last December, an agreement was reached between Banque pour le Commerce Exterieur du Lao public and Mizuho Bank which enhances collaborations.

Mr Achong believes that Wednesday’s MOU agreement will facilitate Mizuho Bank in expanding is financial services into the greater Mekong sub-region. Turning the Bank’s investment direction towards this regions in line with Japanese foreign policy.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has outlined a firm policy which considers Asean as a significant target for socio-economic cooperation. Therefore, Laos has taken this opportunity to promote Japanese investment through various means. To attract more Japanese investment the future, the Lao government will continue to market the manufacturing, garment and textile, modern wood processing and service industries. Other areas earmarked to attract foreign direct investment are organic farming, transportation, education, and health.

At present, Laos has created 10 special economic zones with two more on the way in the near future. the country also has numerous specific economic regions as well.

He said he is confident that the MOU will open the door to more investment and convince high quality businesses from Japan about the sustainable economic development plans in Laos.

Mr Hiroshi said Mizuho’s primary target region Is Asia. “We have been making efforts to enhance our service in this area, especially within the Mekong sub-region,” he said.

“The memorandum we signed today aims to develop the MPIs and Mizuho’s ability, to provide information to Japanese corporations which are considering expanding their businesses or investment into Laos, and also to drive our support structure for market entry and investment procedures.”

Specific initiatives will include Mizuho and the MPI holding investment seminars and providing support to Mizuho’s customers though the MPI in relation to business expansion and investment in Laos.

Mizuho Bank is a one of the major component of Mizuho Financial Group. Mizuho Financial Group is one of the world’s largest full-service financial conglomerates with offices in over 30 countries and has over 56,000 staffs worldwide. It has served customers over 140 years and it has reliable credit ratings at A+ and A- given by S&P and Fitch, respectively.

 

Edited by: Mr. Phouvong Phaophongsavath, IPD’s officer, Email: ipd55892212@hotmail.com Tel/Fax: (+856) 21 219568

 

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