Rather busy week in Lao - as no doubt everyone has been following the military events along the border with the Cambodia. But, a few other issues also caught our eye...
- A pretty aggressive hit piece on the environment for foreign investors in Lao (Investasian)
- Beijing appears to be also cornering the market in Lao elephants - the going rate is apparently $25,000 per pachyderm. Lao signs quite a few international agreements on conservation and environmental protection, but implementation remains incredilby patchy (at best). (Asia Times)
- Although apparently, according to World Bank, Lao has adopted a "Green Growth" strategy - perhaps putting the cart a bit before the horse there, ah? (World Bank)
- And EIU discusses Lao's increased push for Vietnamese inward investment, in our view part of Vientiane's continued attempts to find some way to balance China. (Economist Intelligence Unit)
- Some more reports and analysis on the Cambodia-Laos border standoff: Channel News Asia, Asia Times (David Hutt), and the South China Morning Post. Further, more reports on the eventual resolution of the dispute: ABC News and Reuters.
- Tran Thanh Man, president of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF), a government-linked organisation, met with the Chairwoman of Lao National Assembly, Pany Yathotou on 11 August 2017. An excerpt:
The VFF leader took the occasion to ask the Lao NA leader to help create more favourable conditions for overseas Vietnamese in Laos to acquire Lao citizenship or long-term residential status, and reduce fees and simplify procedures for them in registering marriage, labour and business, as well as in applying for alien resident status.
Man also urged the two countries to enhance transport connectivity, invest in border gate infrastructure and continue to collaborate in the search for and repatriation of remains of Vietnamese voluntary soldiers and experts who died in Laos during wartime.
[Brad Murg, Anirudh Bhati]