Archive for October 12th, 2010

October 12, 2010

UNCTAD National Workshop: Enhancing New and Dynamic Exports of Lao Peoples …

Cached:  http://unctad.org/Templates/meeting.asp?intItemID=2068&lang=1&m=20559

Programme Events

Event:

  • UNCTAD National Workshop: Enhancing New and Dynamic Exports of Lao Peoples Democratic Republic

Date:

  • 25–26 October 2010

Location:

  • Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic

Venue:

  • Lao Plaza Hotel

Description:

  • UNCTAD, in cooperation with the Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce, is organizing a national workshop to enhance multi-stakeholder discussions on Laos´ opportunities for export promotion and diversification.
  • This 2-day workshop in Lao is designed for the following participants: government trade policymakers; the private/business sector representatives; local producers; and trade policy researchers.
  • Participants will discuss the business environment, productive capacity, market access/entry conditions, and strategies for promoting new and dynamic exports of Laos, and suggest the type of actions necessary for improving the Public sector-Private sector partnership for trade.
  • The workshop includes a half-day special training session on the World Integrated Trade Solutions (WITS) and other analytical tools available at UNCTAD.
  • This workshop is organized as an essential part of the UNCTAD Development Account project (Tranche 6, O).

Co-organized with:

  • Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce

Sponsor / funding:

  • UNCTAD Development Account project (Tranche 6, O)

Contact:

=====================

Laos needs 15 billion dollars for next five-year plan, report says

Monsters and Critics.com

Cached:  http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/business/news/article_1590737.php/Laos-needs-15-billion-dollars-for-next-five-year-plan-report-says

Vientiane, Laos – Laos will require 15 billion dollars to finance its next five-year development plan in 2012-16, of which 26 per cent is expected to come from foreign donors, media reports said Tuesday.

Laos’ goals for the plan are to be discussed next week between 300 government officials and 80 representatives of international aid agencies, the Vientiane Times reported.

The meeting was to be co-chaired by Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh and the head of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) Helen Clark, Minister of Planning and Investment Sinlavong Khouthphaythoune told a press conference Monday.

Laos was to present its development goals and projects for the five-year plan at the meeting.

UNDP Laos representative Sonam Yangchen Rana said the communist state would need an estimated 127 trillion kip (15 billion dollars) to implement the plan.

Around 26 per cent of the funds were expected come from official development assistance, another 50 to 60 per cent from foreign direct investment, 10 per cent from domestic credit and 10 per cent from the government.

Laos, which opted for a communist system in 1975, is ranked as one of the world’s poorest nations. Foreign aid has financed on average more than 50 per cent of its annual budget for decades, but that proportion has been declining steadily in recent years according to estimates.

Between 2006 to 2010, Laos received overseas aid for 2,251 projects amounting to 2.4 billion dollars, according to a report from the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

==============================

The Amazon Of Asia – Laos

journeymanpictures | October 11, 2010

October 2010

The Mekong River is already being put to serious economic use by the Chinese, and now the Lao people are determined to do the same. But can it really pull the nation out of poverty, and at what cost?

Until recently the ‘Amazon of Asia’, was one of the world’s last untouched rivers, but plans for a series of 55 dams in Laos look set to change that. With the majority of the population of Laos living below the poverty line, the government claims that hydropower is the quickest way to raise living standards, anticipating revenue of $80 million a year. Yet as scores of villages are uprooted to make way for the development, traditional subsistence communities are struggling. “We used to rely on nature for our living. Now if we don’t buy, we can’t eat”, complains villager Cham Pha. The new dams also pose a threat to the ecosystem, endangering several species. Weighing up potential development and damage, the Lao people face a tough dilemma: “I’m worried about the environment but I want our village to have electricity”.

Produced By ABC Australia
Distributed By Journeyman Pictures

=======================

Vietnam steps up insurance investments in Laos

VOVNews.vn

Cached:  http://english.vovnews.vn/Home/Vietnam-steps-up-insurance-investments-in-Laos/201010/120383.vov

Vietnam steps up insurance investments in Laos

The Lane Xang Assurance Public Insurance Joint Stock Company (LAP), a joint venture between the Laos Development Bank (LDP) and the Post and Telecommunications Joint Stock Insurance Corporation (PTI), debuted in Vientiane on October 11.

The company has a charter capital of US$1.5 million and it licensed to operate for 30 years.

The LAP will provide life insurance, general insurance, financial investment and other business activities according to Laos’ law.

=====================

VN helps Laos develop hydroelectricity

saigon-gpdaily.com.vn

Cached:  http://www.saigon-gpdaily.com.vn/National/2010/10/86301/

Vietnam’s Power Engineering Consulting Company 1 (PECC1) and Laos’s Deng Sanakeo (DSK) company have signed a consultative contract on developing a master plan for small hydropower plants in Vientiane province.

General Director of PECC1 Le Van Luc said that his company pledged to complete the research project within 15 months as schedule.

Saynhaxin Sanakeo, general director of DSK said that the project would meet the demand of socio-economic development, especially in the remote and mountainous areas, develop small and medium-sized power plants to reduce electricity import from abroad./.

=============================

Vietnam, October 11 – Vietnam’s Power Engineering Consulting Company 1 and Laos’s Deng Sanakeo Company have signed a consultation contract for a master plan to build small hydropower plants in Vientiane province.

General Director of PECC1 Le Van Luc said that his company pledged to complete the research project within a scheduled 15 months.

Saynhaxin Sanakeo, General Director of DSK, said the project would meet the demand for socio-economic development, especially in remote and mountainous areas, and develop small and medium-sized power plants to reduce electricity import from abroad.

===================

INSIDE ASIA:

Water Crisis Threatens Asia’s Rise

Cached:  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/12/business/global/12inside.html?src=busln

New York TimesAlan Wheatley

JINGHONG, CHINA — Framed by banana and eucalyptus trees, the caramel-colored Mekong River rolls through this lush corner of Yunnan Province in southwestern China with an unerring rhythm that is reassuring in its seeming timelessness.

Yet as recently as April, a fearsome drought had shriveled the Mekong to its narrowest width in 50 years. Water levels were so low that at Guanlei, a river town not far from here, dozens of boats were laid up for more than three months.

Alarmed at the drying up of the world’s largest inland fishery, the four members of the Mekong River Commission — Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam — called a special summit meeting.

“Without good and careful management of the Mekong River as well as its natural resources, this great river will not survive,” Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva of Thailand warned.

The commission’s political leaders suspected that China was hoarding water behind dams it has built on the Mekong, exacerbating the effects of the drought.

China presented data to allay these fears. Finally, the rains returned and the tensions dissipated.

But the incident highlighted the strains that are being generated as the unslakable Asian thirst for water collides with the reality of a supply that is limited and, if climate change projections are borne out, may shrink sharply.

The Asian Development Bank speaks of a looming crisis that threatens access to water and sanitation needs for millions of households and industries.

The bank is holding a high-level conference at its headquarters in Manila this week to chart solutions and canvass greater regional cooperation.

“In the next 5 to 10 years, if the initiatives to secure greater efficiencies in water are not put in place, you really are at risk,” said Arjun Thapan, the bank’s special senior adviser for infrastructure and water.

Projections last year by the Water Resources Group, a consortium of private-sector companies formed to tackle water scarcity, point to a global gap of 40 percent between the supply and demand for water by 2030 under a business-as-usual scenario.

The imbalance is particularly daunting in India, where the trend toward a middle-class diet will increase demand for meat, sugar and wheat, which require a lot of water to produce.

Agriculture uses almost 90 percent of India’s water.

By 2030, demand will grow to almost 1.5 trillion cubic meters, or 53 trillion cubic feet, compared with the current supply of about 740 billion cubic meters, according to a report for the Water Resources Group by the consultant firm McKinsey.

As a result, in the absence of concerted action, most Indian river basins could face a severe water deficit by 2030.

The probable water deficit for China is more manageable on paper — a shortfall of 200 billion cubic meters — but 21 percent of the country’s surface water resources are unfit even for farming, which consumes about 70 percent of the country’s water.

What makes such forecasts even more daunting is evidence that global warming is already eroding the Himalayan glaciers covering the Tibetan plateau, which feed China’s neighbors, including India and Pakistan, as well as China itself.

More than 80 percent of the glaciers in western China are in retreat, according to a study by a group of mainly Chinese climate change scientists in the September issue of Nature.

Over all, 5 percent to 27 percent of China’s glacial area is forecast to disappear by 2050, the study said.

“Even though the exact timing and magnitude of the ‘tipping point’ of each glacier is still uncertain, the projected long-term exhaustion of glacial water supply should have a considerable impact on the availability of water for both agricultural and human consumption,” the scientists wrote.

Because 60 percent of the runoff from China glaciers flows out of the country, this can spell only trouble.

China’s plans for more dams on the Mekong and on other major rivers that tumble down from the Tibetan plateau already have its southern neighbors on edge.

“As far as transboundary management of water is concerned, I think certainly the Himalayas are likely to be a flash point,” said Mr. Thapan of the Asian Development Bank.

The risk of conflict over water rights is magnified because China and India are home to more than a third of the world’s population yet have to make do with less than 10 percent of its water.

“Although both nations are seeking to become the superpowers of the 21st century, their weak point is water,” according to Yoichi Funabashi, a prominent foreign-affairs commentator and editor in chief of the Asahi Shimbun, a Japanese newspaper.

India and Pakistan are another potential point of friction.

The Indus Waters Treaty, which parceled out river-use rights after India’s partition in 1947, has survived three wars between the two neighbors since it was signed in 1960. But the pact is under strain from Indian plans for more upstream dams and water diversion.

So what is to be done? Given that agriculture accounts for almost 70 percent of global water use, it will be critical to increase “crop per drop” through improved irrigation techniques and by growing food that needs less water.

In the words of the Water Resources Group, “While the gap between supply and demand WILL be closed, the question is HOW.”

As Mr. Funabashi puts it, oil can ultimately be replaced by other resources, but the same is not true for water. Water is also closely tied to food, energy and climate change.

“In that sense, water is a key component of national security,” Mr. Funabashi wrote last month.

“If the 20th century witnessed the rise and fall of nations over oil, the 21st century could be one in which the rise and fall of nations is determined by water,” he added.

Alan Wheatley is a Reuters correspondent.


Programme Events
Event: UNCTAD National Workshop: Enhancing New and Dynamic Exports of Lao Peoples Democratic Republic
Date: 25–26 October 2010
Location: Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Venue: Lao Plaza Hotel
Description: UNCTAD, in cooperation with the Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce, is organizing a national workshop to enhance multi-stakeholder discussions on Laos´ opportunities for export promotion and diversification.This 2-day workshop in Lao is designed for the following participants: government trade policymakers; the private/business sector representatives; local producers; and trade policy researchers. 

Participants will discuss the business environment, productive capacity, market access/entry conditions, and strategies for promoting new and dynamic exports of Laos, and suggest the type of actions necessary for improving the Public sector-Private sector partnership for trade.

The workshop includes a half-day special training session on the World Integrated Trade Solutions (WITS) and other analytical tools available at UNCTAD.

This workshop is organized as an essential part of the UNCTAD Development Account project (Tranche 6, O).

Co-organized with: Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce
Sponsor / funding: UNCTAD Development Account project (Tranche 6, O)
Contact: miho.shirotori@unctad.org
Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: