September 11th, 2017
LIWG, September 11, 2017
The Land Information Working Group is looking for a dynamic and motivated International Coordinator Volunteer, with an interest in land issues and commitment to social justice.
Location: Based in Vientiane
Volunteer Period: October 2017 to March 2018 (from 4 to 6 months duration). This can be a part-time volunteering (replacement of maternity leaves).
Tasks: He/She represents the network at various meetings and events, implements activities in a timely manner and within budget parameters according to the strategy and work plan, and acts as a facilitator that brings members and other stakeholders together.
August 31st, 2017
Source: Vientiane Times, August 31, 2017
Government officials met in Vientiane yesterday to discuss solutions to land conflict issues across the country with the aim of improving land management and preventing the misuse of land.
The meeting of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment was attended by the Minister, Mr Sommad Pholsena, and other stakeholders from around the country.
Over the past year, there has been widespread misuse of forested and public land. The price of land has continued to rise, especially in cities.
August 25th, 2017
Source: Vientiane Times, August 25, 2017
The export value of bananas in the first six months (Q1 and Q2) of this year decreased compared to the same period last year and is expected to decline further.
The drop in exports comes after the government called a halt to the establishment of large scale banana plantations in a bid to prevent environmental impacts, with local authorities also taking stricter action against banana farms. Laos earned almost US$125 million from banana exports in Q1 and Q2 this year, while last year’s figure for the same period was over US$137.5 million, according to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.
August 25th, 2017
Source: Vientiane Times, August 23, 2017
The government is looking to speed up compensation for people who will lose land or other property to make way for the Laos-China railway, asking the National Assembly (NA) to extend support in this regard.
Minister of Public Works and Transport Dr Bounchanh Sinthavong called for the NA to encourage provincial and Vientiane administrations as well as provincial and Vientiane People’s councils to approve unit prices for the compensation calculated by authorities in charge.
August 16th, 2017
Source: Vientiane Times, August 16, 2017
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is focusing on land management and development around the country with aims to better manage land and prevent spread out land use.
Over the past year, land use was still extravagant because the master plan of national land management is not finished yet.
Meanwhile, the price of land is continuing to rise, especially land in the city areas.
It’s causing an issue related to land management and use.
August 16th, 2017
Source: Vientiane Times, August 16, 2017
The impacts on residents of government-approved development projects and concession projects by domestic and foreign investors were on the top of the agenda for discussion between National Assembly (NA) and government at a joint meeting yesterday.
NA President Pany Yathotou, Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, NA Committees chairs and ministers attended the first joint meeting between the NA’s Eighth Legislature and the government held yesterday in Vientiane to discuss the way ahead on addressing development impacts and compensation policy.
August 11th, 2017
Source: Vientiane Times, August 11, 2017
Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith has directed the leadership of Xieng Khuang province to intensify the fight against corruption, illegal logging and drug smuggling.
The premier issued the directive during talks with top provincial officials on Wednesday as part of his two-day working tour to the northern province.
�The Prime Minister underlined the need to pay more attention to addressing illicit drug smuggling, illegal logging and corruption,� the Deputy Head of the provincial Administrative Office, Mr Viengthong Bounthaphone, told Vientiane Times .
August 8th, 2017
Source: Xinhua, August 8, 2017. Editor: An
VIENTIANE, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) — In northern and central Laos, mountains seem to reign the area where population is scarce. There was almost nothing but primeval forests and traces of slash-and-burn cultivation left by mountainous residents.
However, since December 2016, within half a year since the beginning of construction of China-Laos railway, the area has been witnessing massive changes.
China-Laos railway starts from the Mohan-Moten border area between the two countries, running over 400 km to Lao capital Vientiane with designed operating speed of 160 km per hour. Over 60 percent of the route are bridges and tunnels.
Construction of the railway is scheduled to be completed in five years with investment of some 37.4 billion Chinese yuan (5.56 billion U.S. dollars). This is the biggest investment project of China in Laos so far.
Being the first overseas route connecting with the railway system in China using Chinese technology and equipment, China-Laos railway is a major strategic project which was reached and promoted by top leaders of the two countries, a major project in infrastructure interconnectivity between China and neighboring countries, and a major project in implementing the Belt and Road Initiative.
Ground-breaking ceremony of the railway was held in December 2015, and the construction of the whole route officially started a year later.
August 7th, 2017
Source: Xinhua, August 2, 2017. Editor: Zhou Xin
VIENTIANE, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) — Lao government has given the green light for a Chinese company to conduct a feasibility study on developing the Khonphapheng Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in southern Laos’ Champassak province, local media reported on Tuesday.
The Chinese company had informed authorities that it wants to invest 10 billion U.S. dollars to develop the SEZ, some 580 km south of capital Vientiane, the Deputy Governor of Champassak, Buasone Vongsongkhone told Lao state-run media Vientiane Times.
If the project is realized, it will become the largest investment venture in Champassak province and potentially the country.
A memorandum of understanding was recently signed between the government and the Chinese company, Guangdong Yellow River Industrial Group, in Vientiane, Vientiane Times online reported Tuesday. The move will allow the company to conduct a feasibility study for this project as well as project designs and other activities within six months.
“If the study is positive, we can move forward on a concession agreement which will allow the company to develop the project,” Buasone said on Monday.
Khonphapheng waterfall and the surrounding area are designated for development as a new town that will focus on tourism.
The Chinese company’s study will identify business activities and tourism facilities to facilitate the growth of tourism in Laos. This would include hotels, restaurants, a trade center and other tourism-related businesses.
In July 2015, the government approved the development of Khonphapheng and the surrounding area, also known as Siphandone (the 4,000 islands region), as a new SEZ.
Even before the government’s approval, investors from China, South Korea, Singapore and the Philippines had expressed initial interest in the zone.
Khonphapheng, located in Khong district, is the largest waterfall in Southeast Asia and attracts thousands of visitors every year. Nevertheless, more facilities are needed to attract more tourists.
Officials said the waterfall, close to the Laos-Cambodia border, is a suitable location for developing the SEZ as it would bring more businesses to the area.
The provincial authorities have allocated more than 7,000 hectares for the potential development, which would be divided into four zones: Zone A (480 hectares), Zone B (797 hectares), Zone C (2,120 hectares) and Zone D (3,678 hectares).