Laos prepares for Asean chairmanship in 2016
Laos is ready to play the role of Asean chair and host the 28th and 29th Asean Summits which will be held back-to-back in Vientiane next year.
Lao Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Alounkeo Kittikhoun and Malaysian ambassador Than Tai Hing co-chaired an Asean Consultative Meeting (ACM) in Vientiane this week which was attended by the ambassadors of Asean countries based in Vientiane.
Alounkeo, who is also Asean Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) Leader of Laos, updated the ACM on Laos’preparations for its chairmanship of Asean in 2016, which will see Laos playing the role of host.
He said Laos was ready logistically, with the construction of a few new hotels that would be completed in time for the said Asean summits and related meetings.
Additionally, workshops and seminars were being held to train the functionaries and staff to be deployed during the summits and related Asean meetings to be held in the country.
Than briefed the ACM on the outcomes of the successful 48th Asean Foreign Ministers’Meeting (AMM) and Post Ministerial Conferences (PMC) and Related Meetings that were held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from Aug 1 to 6, 2015.
He said 2015 will be a milestone in the history of Asean whereby the vision of creating the Asean Community will be realized by the end of this year.
The 48th AMM/PMC focused on Asean centrality in the evolving regional architecture, as well as the importance of community-building, especially through deeper economic integration. With the 26th Asean Summit successfully held in April this year, preparations were underway for Malaysia to host the 27th Asean Summit in November 2015.
As Asean prepares to establish the Asean Economic Community (AEC) at the end of 2015, the ACM has specially invited Oudet Souvannavong, the vice president of the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI), who briefed the meeting about business opportunities in Laos.
Oudet also outlined some of challenges faced by the Lao business community in preparation for the AEC 2015.
Bounpanh Souvannavong, Deputy Director-General of the Investment Promotion Department at the Ministry of Planning and Investment Bounpanh Souvannavong also updated the meeting on the latest government policies and pertinent incentives pertaining to foreign investment while the representative from the National Committee for Special Economic Zone (SEZ), Dr Kheungkham Keonuchan spoke about the Special Economic Zones and the One-Stop Service framework to attract more foreign direct investment into the SEZ.
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