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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs                     9 August 2011

Ventiane is “booming”

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The economy of Laos' sleepy capital Vientiane grew 12 percent year-on-year in the first three quarters of the current fiscal year, media reports said Monday.

Vientiane's gross domestic product between October 1 and June 30 reached 21,437 billion kip (US2.75 billion dollars), up 12 percent compared with the same period in 2009-10, according to the city's planning and investment department.

The city of 800,000 which has seemingly missed the infrastructure explosions of other South-East Asian capitals over the past three decades, welcomed 948,000 tourists in the nine-month period, primarily from Thailand, generating $85 million in spending, the Vientiane Times reported.

During the same period, authorities approved 7,300 billion kip ($936 million) worth of investment projects, an 84 percent increase compared to the same period the previous year.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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