Asem summit luxury cars up for sale in Laos
The Lao government is selling off the luxury cars it purchased for use by dignitaries attending the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit, which took place in Vientiane in November.
Director General of the Ministry of Finance's State Asset Department, Chanthanorm Phithasone, signed an announcement yesterday on the sale of 40 Mercedes Benz Class 350 cars, 65 Mercedes Benz E Class 350 cars, and 62 Toyota Camry 2.5 litre cars to the public. All of the cars were manufactured in 2012.
The government also announced the sale of 15 used Benz S Class 350 cars, which were manufactured in 2004.
Officials decided to sell the vehicles after serious discussion over the best use of these cars, which were purchased with public tax money.
The government had originally planned to keep the cars for use by officials but realised it was unacceptable to use luxury vehicles while urging civil servants and members of the public not to engage in conspicuous consumption and to use government money frugally.
All of the cars are now available for inspection at the Government Office compound in Vientiane. The prices range from US$35,000 to $119,000 depending on the model and year of manufacture.
Price details can be obtained at the State Asset Department. Finance officials responsible for the sale of the cars said prices were fixed and could not be bargained down. The cars were much cheaper than comparable models on sale in Vientiane showrooms, they added.
Parties interested in buying one of the cars are required to fill in an application form, which are also available at the department.
The government spent about 240 billion kip ($30,3 million) on the Asem Summit. Forty per cent of this amount, or 96 billion kip, went towards the purchase of vehicles.
The government also purchased a large number of police cars, motorbikes an d minivans for the event.