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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   6 September 2013  
China gives Laos $81m in aid, loans

VIENTIANE - China has agreed to give Laos 300 million yuan (US$49 million) in grant aid and 200 million yuan ($32.6 million) in interest-free loans this year, news reports said on Thursday.

The agreement was signed by Lao Prime Minister Thongsing Thamavong and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang earlier this week in Nanning, China, on the sidelines of the Asean-Expo, the Vientiane Times reported.

The two prime ministers also discussed Laos' planned $7 billion high-speed railway that would link Vientiane to the Lao-China border, which has reportedly secured finance from China.

"For Laos, the high-speed railway is considered a priority project for cooperation with China," the Laos daily reported.

"The Lao side therefore proposed that relevant sectors of both countries accelerate the process and prepare for the bilateral agreement to be signed soon."

China, Laos' giant neighbour to the north, is one of the leading foreign investors in the land-locked communist country.

Bilateral trade amounted to $1.7 billion last year, a 32% increase.

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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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