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Vientiane Times

thursDAY January 28, 2016

The First National English Language Newspaper

ISSUE 23

Vientiane records
over 6.9 trillion kip
in public debt
Times Reporters

Vientiane recorded public


debt of more than 6.946
trillion kip, including 6.931
trillion kip of state investment
debt remaining on contracts
and 15 billion kip owed to
utilities and other expenses.
The figure was revealed
a t Vi e n t i a n e s m o n t h l y
meeting for January attended
b y Vi e n t i a n e M a y o r D r
Sinlavong Khoutphaythoune,
vice mayors, directors of
departments and equivalent
organisations.
The meeting considered
and adopted a number of
measures to address public
debt and the financial
situation. Also addressed
was the agriculture and
forestry development plan
up to 2020, assistance for
commercial cattle breeding,
plans to encourage farm
mechanisation for rice

production, implementation
of key projects in Sisattanak,
Sikhottabong and Sangthong
districts for fiscal years
2013-2014 and 2015-2016,
and the investment plan for
2016-2017.
According to a report from
the Finance Department, to
address public debt for fiscal
year 2015-2016 Vientiane
authorities were assigned to
collect revenue of more than
1 trillion kip, accounting for
2.85 percent of GDP (gross
domestic product).
So far, authorities have
collected more than 221
billion kip or equal to 20.72
percent of the annual plan.
Authorities have
earmarked expenditure of
over 619 billion kip, and up
until January 18 they had
recorded expenditure of 157
billion kip or about 25.35
percent of the annual plan.
Continued page 2

Huaphan authorities
to regulate
foreign workers
Phethoxay Sengpaseuth

Huaphan provincial authorities


are registering foreigners and
issuing them with temporary
working visas in a bid to
regulate the increasing number
of undocumented migrant
workers in the province.
Provincial authorities will
register about 2,000 migrant
workers this year up on last
years figure of 1,500. The
migrant workers will pay an

obligatory fee of over 1 million


kip per year to the government
allowing them to work in the
province according of Lao law,
an official confirmed.
Senior official of the Labour
Management division under
the provinces Department of
Labour and Social Welfare, Ms
Vienglaiphone Phetvangkhoune
told Vientiane Times by telephone
yesterday the provincial
authority had informed

Continued page 3

The 10th Congress of Lao


Peoples Revolutionary Party

Laos, Indonesia seek


closer ties

4500 kip

Times Reporters

Laos and Indonesia are taking


steps to deepen their bilateral
relations with the foreign
ministers of the two Asian
countries holding talks in
Vientiane yesterday.
Visiting Indonesian Foreign
Minister Ms Retno Marsudi is
in Laos for a two-day official
trip on January 27 and 28, at
the invitation of Deputy Prime
Minister and Minister of Foreign
Affairs Mr Thongloun Sisoulith.
During their talks at the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the
two ministers said they highly
valued the fruitful outcomes
of the friendly relations and
cooperation between Laos and
Indonesia, the ministry said in
a statement.
High-ranking leaders and
delegates at all levels have
exchanged visits, while the
two Asean member countries
have also extended mutual
support in the regional and
international arenas.
The ministers briefed each
other on their political and
security situations, socioeconomic development and
foreign affairs matters in their
respective countries.
Laos and Indonesia are
both members of Asean, the
10-member regional bloc
which Laos chairs this year.
The ministers discussed
ways to deepen and broaden
relations and cooperation
between Laos and Indonesia,
which has the largest economy
in Asean.
Both sides agreed to hold
the 5th Laos-Indonesia Joint
Cooperation Commission
meeting in the near future, to
be hosted by Indonesia.
The Lao minister said

Mr Thongloun Sisoulith greets Ms Retno Marsudi.

it was essential for the two


countries to provide further
mutual assistance, and support
and broaden their cooperation
to contribute to efforts towards
achieving the goals set under
the three pillars of the Asean
Community.

The Asean Community


was officially established on
December 31, 2015.
The three pillars are the
Political-Security Community,
the Economic Community, and
the Socio-Cultural Community.
The two ministers

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expressed their satisfaction


over the long-standing friendly
relations between their two
nations and peoples.
Ms Marsudi and her
delegation are scheduled to call
on Prime Minister Thongsing
Thammavong today.

2 Home news

Vientiane Times

Thursday January 28, 2016

Luang Prabang suburbs free


of water-borne diseases
Khonesavanh Latsaphao

(From left) Mr Soubanh Luanglath, Mr Buangeun Xaphouvong, and Mr Phanthasone Phomphakdy cochair the meetings opening ceremony.

Childrens culture centres in


need of dedicated experts
Times Reporters

Child development specialists are


encouraging all sectors involved
in childrens development to
play a more active role, in hopes
of building a knowledgeable
generation of young adults to
lead the nation in the future.
Representatives from
childrens culture centres
nationwide yesterday began
talks on the issues that are
currently challenging the centres.
Childrens culture centres
are a public service and provide
cultural activities aimed at
teaching children various skills,
giving them new experiences,
knowledge and recreational
activities. They target children
from all walks of life.
There are 42 childrens
culture centres and childrens
clubs in the country, of which
18 are located in Vientiane and
provincial capitals. The childrens
culture centre in Vientiane is a
special unit run by the Ministry
of Information, Culture and
Tourisms Department of Mass
Public Culture.
Activities at the centre
include a library, reading
promotion, traditional
music, drawing and painting,
weaving, cooking, languages,
ethics, morals and customs,

environmental awareness,
drama, radio and television
presenting, and programme
production.
Speaking at yesterdays
meeting, Director of the
Childrens Culture Centre unit,
Mr Soubanh Luanglath, revealed
the challenges facing the centre,
such as a shortage of personnel
in specific subjects, which meant
the same topics were covered too
frequently.
He said the number of staff
was small compared to the needs
of the children taking part in
activities. Mr Soubanh said there
were only 13 staff working at
the centre despite there being
an allocated quota of 25 jobs,
so it was necessary to outsource
certain areas of work to experts.
Outsourcing has meant
that we have experienced
budget difficulties, while some
outsourced experts do not have
the necessary mixed-game
teaching skills, he said.
Outside of Vientiane, only
one third of the 18 provincial
childrens culture centres have
decent facilities. The others rely
on provincial culture halls and
other places, which Mr Soubanh
said were not appropriate as they
did not encourage children to
attend the activities.
In his address at the meeting,

Vientiane records...

Deputy Minister of Information,


Culture and Tourism Mr
Buangeun Xaphouvong called
for joint efforts in human
resource development from an
early age.
He pointed to the situation
in Vietnam in the 1980s, when a
large proportion of the population
was poor. But the Vietnamese
government gave high priority
to human resource development
and peoples circumstances
greatly improved several years
later. The deputy minister also
said that Lao workers were
undisciplined. He said it was
necessary to imbue people with
a greater sense of spirituality
so they were not constantly in
pursuit of material wealth.
Childrens culture centres
would be a good place to
encourage people to adopt
the right attitude to life from a
young age, by showing them
constructive activities.
Mr Buangeun wanted
representatives of provincial
childrens centres to persuade
their higher authorities to invest
more in the centres.
Deputy Director General of
the Department of Mass Public
Culture, Mr Phanthanasone
Phomphakdy, also presided over
the opening ceremony of the
meeting, which continues today.

No outbreaks of disease have


occurred recently in villages
in Luang Prabang province,
although some people in rural
areas are still using unsafe
water from natural streams.
A n o ff i c i a l f r o m t h e
provincial Health Department,
Mr Khamphao Thongpradith,
told Vientiane Times on
Wednesday there had been no
water-borne disease outbreaks
because people had been
boiling water and following
guidelines issued by the health
department.
The provincial Water
Supply Enterprise (Nampapa
Luang Prabang) is supplying
treated water to most houses
in suburban areas.
This marks a significant
change from previous
years when data from an
international agency showed
that many people in Ngoy
district were dying each year
after contracting water-borne
diseases.

No one has died recently


in Ngoy district or other areas
of the province due to waterborne diseases, Mr Khamphao
said.
Some international
agencies have provided people
with household water filters,
especially to those living in
rural areas, to prevent them
drinking unclean water. This
has had a positive impact on
the quality of drinking water.
Last year the German
Embassy in Vientiane supported
the initiative through the Small
Scale Project Fund under the
Bamboo School Foundation.
The foundation has been
supporting healthcare and
education in Ngoy district
since 2006 in a bid to improve
conditions. More than 200
families in several villages
were provided with a household
water filter.
The foundation plans
to extend its water filter
programme by providing eight
more villages (225 families
and five primary schools) with

ceramic filters.
These devices are locally
produced out of clay, an
abundant and non-contaminant
material in Laos, and the
system works with gravity so
no energy source is required.
The foundation asked
villagers to build a stand for the
water filter and they were able
to create very robust stands
with very little means.
According to the Ministry
of Health, diarrhoea is one of
the major causes of mortality
in children under five. Poor
hygiene and sanitation has many
negative impacts, especially
for children under five who
can easily contract waterrelated diseases. Only 69.9
percent of the Lao population
uses improved drinking water
sources, according to the Lao
Social Indicator Survey.
Improved water supply
and sanitation and careful
management of water resources
can boost a countrys economic
growth and contribute greatly
to poverty reduction.

Adventure tourism driving revenue


growth in Oudomxay
Times Reporters

The growing popularity of


adventure activities along the
Nam Kat River in Oudomxay
province attracted more
visitors last year driving
tourism revenue growth.
There is no shortage
of activities with trekking,
mountain climbing, biking,
abseiling, zip-lining, treehouse sleepovers, camping, and
traditional lifestyle education
all on offer, after being
introduced recently under the
Forestry Area Conservation
Ecological Tourism (FACET)
programme.
According to an official
at the provincial Tourism
Division, the Nam Kat
region has been designated
an adventure destination for

tourists.
Last year s provincial
tourism revenue reached
US$12 million, an increase
of 19 percent on the previous
year.
Oudomxay province
expects its tourism revenue
will continue to grow this year
with visitor numbers up 15
percent in recent months.
The provinces tourism is
benefiting from being a transit
stop of one or two nights for
tourists, especially Pakbeng
district, before they travel on
to the World Heritage town of
Luang Prabang.
There is a growing number
of tour groups from Asia,
especially China, which have
steadily increased since 2014,
along with increasing numbers
of Europeans.

European visitor numbers


have risen since 2013, with
most coming for trekking
and home-stays to experience
the local lifestyle and the
traditions of ethnic groups.
Last year the province
received 215,448 tourists
and more from China are
expected from the end of
this month until Chinese
New Year.
However, the division is
working to improve services
and tourist attractions, and
plans to develop Samvone
Cave into another magnet for
visitors.
Local authorities expect
surveys for infrastructure
development to start within
this year, aiming to get tourists
to spend at least two days in the
province.

from page 1

To successfully implement the governments 2015-2016 budget plan and resolutions of


6th Party Congress of the Vientiane Party Committee, authorities need to pay debt of 2.7
trillion kip within 5 years or an average of 554 billion kip per year.
However, with revenue insufficient for the annual budget plan, the assets of That Luang
market project in Xaysettha district and those along the 450 Year Road would have to be
turned into capital to repay debt to the Bank of the Lao PDR. Revenue collection and other
financial sources would also have to be enhanced to address the issue.

Lao Press in Foreign Languages

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Visitors enjoy the view from Nam Kat mountain in Oudomxay province, now a growing destination for tourists.

Vientiane Times

Thursday January 28, 2016

Home news

New customs checks planned for


Savan-Mukdahan border crossing
Times Reporters

Laos and Thailand will work together


to implement a single-stop importexport inspection system at the LaoThai Friendship Bridge in Savannakhet
province by the end of this month.
Vehicles and drivers leaving
Savannakhet province and entering
Thailands Mukdahan province
will be inspected by Lao and Thai
customs and immigration officials
in Mukdahan, while those entering
Laos from Thailand will be checked
in Savannakhet.
The trial run will be an important
step for Lao and Thai authorities in
reviewing all procedures and training
staff before official operation of the
single-stop service model can take
place in the near future.
The system aims to simplify
administrative procedures by
minimising the number of offices
that importers/exporters and their
drivers have to visit and the amount
of paperwork they have to complete.

The aim is not only to spur


economic cooperation between Laos
and Thailand but also between all
countries in the entire region.
Director General of International
Immigration at the 2nd Lao-Thai
Friendship Bridge in Savannakhet,
Mr Bounkham Phoutthichack, told
Vientiane Times yesterday that the
one-stop service model would involve
the inspection of goods and people
transiting in commercial vehicles at
both ends of the bridge.
A single-stop inspection in the
Common Control Area will reduce
the time spent at the border crossing.
Any unnecessary procedures will be
removed, he said.
The joint-inspection process will
be expanded to cover buses, private
vehicles and the general public at a
later date, he added.
Huge volumes of goods and
people have crossed the 2nd ThaiLao Friendship Bridge since it opened
in 2006.
The upgraded inspection process

is part of Greater Mekong Subregion


development to facilitate transport,
travel and trade across borders between
the regions members, who also
include Myanmar, Vietnam and China.
Currently, Laos and Vietnam
operate a one-stop inspection system
at the Dansavan-Lao Bao International
Checkpoint, which came into effect
last year.
The Dansavan-Lao Bao border
crossing now uses an e-customs
system, helping to shorten waiting
times and increase efficiency during
the customs clearance process.
The new system can halve the time
taken to clear customs at this border
crossing.
Laos and Vietnam inked a
Memorandum of Understanding on
the implementation of the one-stop
service model at the Dansavan-Lao
Bao border crossing in 2005 in line
with an agreement on facilitating
travel, trade and transport across the
border, signed by the Greater Mekong
Sub-region countries.

Red Cross promises aid for frozen north


Times Reporters

The ancient Buddha image made of brass found in the Mekong River in Khong district,
Champassak province.
--Photo Champamai Newspaper

15th century
Buddha image found
in Champassak
Times Reporters

A local fisherman has uncovered an


ancient Buddha image some two
kilograms in weight from the Mekong
River in the Nakasang village area of
Khong district, Champassak province.
The ancient Buddha image is now
being held for safe keeping at the
Phuang-keo Temple in Kang-khong
village, an ancient temple of Khong
district, whilst waiting for officials from
the provincial Information, Culture and
Tourism Department to identify and
certify its authenticity.
According to local officials, a
fisherman named Mr Ko, a resident
of Nakasang village, Khong district,
Champassak province, found the ancient
Buddha image while he was fishing in
the Mekong River.
Mr Ko told local officials that before
finding the Buddha image he dreamed of
a big man with dark skin who asked Mr
Ko Do you want something of mine?
Mr Ko answered Yes I want it in his

dream before waking suddenly.


The next morning, January 11,
Mr Ko left home to go fishing in the
Mekong River and whilst setting his
nets he came across the Buddha image.
He kept it at his house before calling the
authorities that afternoon.
Governor of Khong district, Mr
Sanan Siphaphommachanh told
Vientiane Times yesterday that an
official committee of Khong district
recently visited the ancient Buddha
image at Phuang-keo Temple to obtain
its basic particulars. According to local
officials, the ancient Buddha image is
made of brass, 35 centimetres in height
and about two kilogrammes in weight.
It dates back to the 15th century era, Mr
Sanan said.
He told Vientiane Times local
officials and residents arranged a safe
site for the Buddha image at the temple.
It is the first ancient Buddha image to
be unearthed in Khong district and as
such it is believed it will be respected
by residents.

Vientiane Times on CD-ROM


Issues of Vientiane Times from 1994 to January 2016 have been recorded
on CD-ROM. Now available at Vientiane Times office. Phonpapao Village,
Unit 32, Sisattanak district,Vientiane. P.O. Box: 5723,
Tel: (856-21) 336042, 336048, 216364.
Fax: (856-21) 336041. Email: editor@vientianetimes.la

The Lao Red Cross plans to provide


assistance to impoverished families in
Phongsaly and Xieng Khuang provinces
after a spell of unusually cold weather
hit northern households hard.
The organisation is waiting for
information on the extent of aid needed
from local Red Cross offices before
distributing supplies, Head of the
Disaster Preparedness and Relief
Division Dr Kaviphone Southy told
Vientiane Times yesterday.
The Red Cross in Vientiane will
transfer cash to provincial Red Cross
offices so they can buy blankets and
warm clothing for needy families.
This will reduce expenditure on
transporting supplies from Vientiane
to the provinces, Dr Kaviphone said.
The Red Cross has more than 40
million kip in reserve for emergency
aid and plans to use clothing stored in
its Vientiane warehouse for distribution

to these provinces.
Huaphan province, which also saw
exceptionally low temperatures, would
receive assistance from other agencies,
he added.
The recent cold snap was the
result of a widespread low pressure
system that covered the south and
east of China and other areas of
eastern Asia and was the most severe
to be recorded in the past 10 years,
according to the Meteorology and
Hydrology Department.
Almost 100 people died as a result
of the extreme cold weather, mostly in
Japan and Taiwan.
In Laos, the northern provinces of
Phongsaly, Huaphan and Xieng Khuang
suffered the lowest temperatures.
Large numbers of families in
these provinces are still poor and need
assistance to help them stay warm.
Children in remote areas are
especially in need of winter clothing.
The Lao Red Cross is the countrys

main centre accepting donations for


distribution to communities in need. It
always welcomes contributions from
government agencies and the private
sector.
Also helping out is the VIVO
Service Centre in Vientiane, which
is appealing for donations of cash,
clothing and blankets for poor families
in Xieng Khuang and Huaphan
provinces.
The recent freezing conditions
caused some trees to fall down, and a
few areas experienced power outages.
Many families stayed at home so they
didnt have to deal with the difficult
conditions.
The low temperatures made things
tough for motorists with some cars
refusing to start and drivers having
problems on icy roads.
People travelling between Vientiane
and the northern provinces are advised
to be careful and check the weather
conditions before leaving home.

Huaphan authorities... from page 1


companies of their requirements in
registering migrant workers and the
companies had in turn provided a list
of their foreign workers in accordance
with Lao law.
The registering of foreigners
for the 2015-2016 period started in
October last year and the provincial
authority expects to record 2,000
foreigners this year. Some 70 percent
of the migrant labour is working for
foreign construction companies, Ms
Vienlaiphone confirmed.
From this register, about 80
percent of the migrant workers
are Vietnamese, 20 percent are
Chinese and the rest mainly Thai
with a majority of them working on
government construction projects,
she said.
The province authority was unable
to register migrant vendors who
entered the country to work illegally
and they would not have access to this
service, she added.
We will continue to register
foreigners and issuing them with
temporary working visas in a bid to
regulate the increasing number of
undocumented migrant workers in the
province, Ms Vienlaiphone added.
Director General of the Labour
Management Department under
the Ministry of Labour and Social
Welfare, Mr Phongxaysak Inthalath

Migrant workers at one of many large construction sites across the country.

said although worker migration


was unavoidable in todays modern
world, every country tried to control
immigration in line with their
respective laws and regulations.
The new measures are aimed at
collecting information and identifying
the number of foreigners working
illegally so authorities can then assign
resources to best regulate the situation
and avoid the complexities of the
past, he said.

He called on all relevant sectors


and people to participate in resolving
the problem to make sure that foreign
workers were registered.
According to Huaphane provinces
Labour Management division, the
province began registering migrant
workers in 2012 to address the issue
while ensuring social order and
protecting the workers rights as the
Asean Economic Community comes
into being.

4 Home news

Vientiane Times

Thursday January 28, 2016

News in Brief
Clothes, blankets donated to Oudomxay households

Police in Oudomxay province have given more than 370 winter garments, blankets,
womens skirts and other items to poor households in nine villages of Pakbaeng, Nga and
La districts, the Khuamsangob Newspaper reported. Elsewhere, authorities in Oudomxay
province donated 100 blankets and cash to children at Nahuang Secondary School in Xay
district, worth 17 million kip. The school also asked the parents of children in rural areas to
contribute to the cost of construction of a dormitory for the children.

Modified motorbike exhaust pipes destroyed in Khammuan

Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, Mr Houmphanh Intharath (right), exchanges agreements
with the President of NEDO, Mr Akihiko Miyamato (left), in Vientiane on Tuesday.

Japan to fund Lao energy


efficiency data centre

Times Reporters

The government of Japan is


providing assistance to set up
the Lao Energy Efficiency Data
(LEED) Centre, to be equipped
with Japanese technology.
The project will enable the
development of technology and
operating systems appropriate
to environments in Laos; CO2
emission reduction verification;
and the enhancement of IT
infrastructure, platforms,
research and development, and
human resource management.
The centre will also
undertake surveys and analysis
of methods to deploy lowcarbon, high-quality and energyefficient container-type data
centres to surrounding cities and
countries.

The project promotes


environmental protection
methods adopted from the
New Energy and Industrial
Technology Development
Organisation (NEDO).
The Ministry of Science
and Technology on Tuesday
signed a Memorandum
of Understanding (MoU)
and project implementation
document on the Lao Energy
Efficiency Data Centre with
NEDO, to enable the project
to go ahead. The MoU was
signed by the Deputy Minister
of Science and Technology, Mr
Houmphanh Intharath, and the
President of NEDO, Mr Akihiko
Miyamato. NEDO is Japans
largest public management
organisation promoting research
and development as well as the

deployment of industrial, energy


and environmental technologies.
Speaking at the signing
ceremony, Minister of Science
and Technology Prof. Dr
Boviengkham Vongdara said
This project will benefit the
countrys socio-economic
development through the
use of research and modern
technology to save energy and
reduce CO2 emissions. The
data centre will be a collection
point for important government
data, as well as for commercial
operations such as banks, other
financial institutions, factories
and other businesses, serving
Lao and overseas customers. It
will offer a secure place for the
storage of their important data
and inspire more confidence
among investors, he added.

Khammuan provincial police recently disposed of 30 modified motorbike exhaust


pipes, the Khuamsangob Newspaper reported. Police said they confiscated the illegal
exhaust pipes from local youths and warned them not to use similar exhaust pipes in
the future. They are redesigned to produce a much louder noise than normal which
is a source of annoyance for local residents. Meanwhile the Industry and Commerce
Department in Xekong province recently disposed of illegally acquired tobacco
products worth more than 16 million kip. Authorities seized the goods from vendors
in eight shops in Lamam and Thataeng districts, the Social-Economic Newspaper
reported.

More than 3,200 Vientiane students donate blood

Last year, more than 3,200 secondary school students in Vientiane donated blood,
reaching over 90 percent of the target number, the Vientiane Mai Newspaper reported.
As a result, 50 secondary schools received certificates of praise for their support.
In addition, more than 1,500 national defence personnel donated blood.
This year, authorities have set a higher target, aiming for 5,000 people in groups to give
blood on special days and 1,400 individuals to provide blood on other occasions.

Xaythany-Xaysettha road upgrade 42 percent complete

The upgrade of a road linking Nonthong to Huaxieng villages in Xaythany district and
Nano to Doung villages in Xaysettha district, Vientiane is now 42 percent complete
and should be finished within 22 months, the Lao Economic Daily Newspaper
reported. The contractor said work began in November 2012 and the total cost would
run to more than 520 billion kip. The road will be 18 metres wide and 19km long. The
road will enable the easier transport of farm produce and other goods by farmers and
vendors in the two districts.

Vientiane Times

Thursday January 28, 2016

Ambassador of the Republic of India to the Lao PDR, Mr Ravi Shankar Aisola (third left) on
Monday hands over a cheque for US$5,000 to the Lao Disabled Womens Development Centre.
The donation was received by the Director of the centre, Ms Chanpheng Sivila (fourth right).
The gift was made to mark the 60th anniversary of the Republic of India. --Photo Phetphoxay

Photo news

Minister of Health Prof. Dr Eksavang Vongvichit (left) and the Ambassador of the Republic of
India to the Lao PDR, Mr Ravi Shankar Aisola, on Tuesday share a toast to celebrate the 60th
anniversary of the Republic of India. Also present was Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ms
Khamphao Eunthavanh (right).
--Photo Phetphoxay

Senior Consultant of the


Vientiane Institute of
Technology, Professor
Sengkham Phinith,
on Tuesday presents
certificates to graduating
students for the 2014-15
academic year.
--Photo Phetphoxay

The spectacular Tadlor waterfall in Saravan province is usually a top tourist draw but the current
spell of cold weather has seen visitor numbers plummet.
--Photo Phoonsab

Children in Vangvieng district, Vientiane province, chase after hot air balloons as they rise above
rice fields.

A raft ferries people and motorbikes across the Xekong River in Xekong province, but like most
boats in Laos it carries no life jackets.

Vientiane Times

Thursday January 28, 2016

Region

Monitoring needed at
3,000 reservoirs

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (right) shakes hands with visiting


United States Secretary of State John Kerry in Beijing. --Photo AP

Chinese FM and Kerry


hold talks to eliminate
strategic doubts
CHINA (China Daily, ANN)
-- Foreign Minister Wang
Yi started talks with visiting
United States Secretary of
State John Kerry this morning,
and voiced hope that the
ongoing visit will strengthen
our strategic mutual trust and
eliminate strategic doubts.
Kerrys two-day visit to
China began on Tuesday. The
two sides will exchange ideas
on bilateral relations and other
issues of common concern,
according to Foreign Ministry
spokeswoman Hua Chunying.
We are ready to exchange
views with the US on all
the issues of common
concern to boost our mutual
understanding, Wang said.
Wang added that a deepened
discussion is expected to further
implement the important
outcomes reached during
President Xi Jinpings US visit
last September.
I hope during this visit,
we can strengthen our strategic
mutual trust, eliminate strategic
doubts and deepen our strategic

cooperation in various fields


in order to give a good start
to China-US ties this year,
Wang said.
Wang noted the tight
schedule for Kerrys ongoing
Asia trip. He said Beijing is
glad to see Kerry is visiting
Laos and Cambodia and that
US ties with the two countries
are further improved and
developed.
In Asia, there are not
only your allies, but also
many important countries.
So visiting those countries
will help you perceive the
situation in Asia on a more
comprehensive basis and learn
from the opinions of various
parties in a more objective
manner, Wang said.
Kerry said China and the
US have been able to find a
level of new cooperation with
respect to a number of issues,
including the Iran nuclear
issue, counterterrorism,
climate change and Ebola. So
we found important common
grounds, he said.

One dead, two missing in


latest jade mine landslide
YANGON (Xinhua) -- One miner has been confirmed dead
and two others have gone missing in a landslide in Myanmars
northernmost Kachin State.
The landslide occurred in a dump soil site near Hpa-kant jade
mining area, according to an official report on Wednesday.
Last November, some 121 people died in a similar incident
which also happened in the area.
Following last years deadly landslide, the authorities have
relocated 108 migrant miners living there to safer places.
A total of nine similar incidents occurred in the area in 2015.
When miners began using heavy machinery to extract jade
from mines in Myanmar in 2005, migrant workers across the
country flocked to the area to scavenge small jade stones from
discarded mine soil.
There are now around 200,000 squatters in Hpa-kant
Township.
According to official figures as of November 30, 2015, 627
mining companies had been allowed to mine on 7,714 plots, while
another 231 companies were mining through a win-win business
system on 311 plots.
Mining plots cover an area of more than 9,134 hectares in
the township.
Prior to 2000, the authorities practiced a production-sharing
system with mining companies, gaining 25 percent income from
the sales apart from tax.

JAPAN (The Yomiuri Shimbun,


ANN) -- Across the nation, it is
feared that about 3,000 large
reservoirs (see below), most of
which cover an irrigated area of
0.5 hectare or more, could cause
serious damage to people and
houses in downstream areas,
according to data gathered by
The Yomiuri Shimbun.
The reservoirs are seen
to be at risk of collapsing if
earthquakes, torrential rain or
other natural disasters occur,
and thus need to be monitored
with alerts in place.
When the Great East
Japan Earthquake occurred
in 2011, banks of a reservoir
in Fukushima Prefecture
collapsed and eight local
residents died as a result.
It has become an urgent task
to prevent the risky reservoirs
from causing damage in the
event of disasters.
In the wake of the collapse
of the reservoir in Fukushima
Prefecture, the Agriculture,
Forestry and Fisheries
Ministry has instructed local
governments to simultaneously
check mostly reservoirs with
an irrigated area of 0.5 hectare
or more.
The local governments
are checking details, such
as whether the banks of the

reservoirs have cracks and


whether water has been leaking
from them, by manually
observing the conditions and
examining documentation
about them.
Based mainly on these
results, the local governments
have made comprehensive
judgements on whether more
detailed checks are necessary.
In December last year,
T h e Yo m i u r i S h i m b u n
asked officials at prefectural
governments responsible for
dealing with the issue about the
outcomes of their checks.
The results showed that
about 102,500 reservoirs had
needed to be checked, and that
checks on about 89,500 of the
locations, or about 90 percent,
had been completed.
There were at least
about 9,800 reservoirs with
houses and public facilities
downstream.
Of them, 2,970 reservoirs,
or about 30 percent, were
judged to need more detailed
checks. The local governments
judged that 2,760 of them may
have insufficient resistance to
earthquake tremors and that
240 of them carry risks of
their banks collapsing due to
problems at water-discharging
facilities and other factors.

Checks have not been


completed on about 13,000
reservoirs, so it is possible
that the number of reservoirs
at which alerts must be
implemented may increase
further.
Also, concerning smaller
reservoirs with under 0.5 hectare
of irrigated area, responses of
local governments varied.
For example, Gunma,
Shimane and Saga responded
to the Yomiuri that they had
already conducted checks on
the smaller reservoirs. Kyoto,
Yamaguchi were among
those that stated they were
conducting checks. Ibaraki,
Chiba were among those that
indicated they did not plan to
conduct checks.
Regarding the Great East
Japan Earthquake, the banks
of Fujinuma-ko lake reservoir
in Sukagawa, Fukushima
Prefecture, collapsed and about
1.5 million tons of water flowed
out.
As a result, eight residents
nearby died and houses in its
downstream areas were washed
away.
In Iwate, Miyagi and
Fukushima prefectures, the
disaster caused damage such
as cracks at a total of 1,784
reservoirs and dams.

Repair work under way at Fujinuma-ko reservoir in Sukagawa, Fukushima Prefecture, in December
last year.
--Photo The Yomiuri Shimbun

Cebuana Lhuillier Microinsurance


calls for disaster resilience
MANILA (Philippine Daily
Inquire, ANN) -- Gearing up
for the onslaught of possible
disasters and calamities this
2016, Cebuana Lhuillier
Microinsurance has pledged
to bolster disaster resilience
in the Philippines and
promote disaster preparedness
among Filipinos during
the 2016 Ready: Disaster
Resilience Forum The
Role of Microinsurance in
Building Disaster-Resilient
Communities held on January
27, 2016 at Makati Shangri-La
Hotel.
Stressing the importance of
personal readiness and security
to alleviate massive losses
and damages during disasters,

Cebuana Lhuillier President


and CEO Jean Henri Lhuillier
urged attendees to understand
their possible roles in disaster
management.
Calamities and disasters
impact everyone, especially
the poor and most vulnerable
communities.
Everyone has a role to
play in building Filipino
communities resilience against
disasters and calamities,
and Cebuana Lhuillier
Microinsurance believes
everyone must be empowered
to prepare themselves against
these kinds of crises, thus,
we decided to embark on this
mission for our country and for
our people, he said.

Known for advocating


education and sports
development for the youth,
Cebuana Lhuillier has long been
helping Filipinos uplift their
lives through its microfinancial
solutions services and various
CSR programs.
This time, we would
like to instigate a whole
new advocacy that would
benefit a larger number of
Filipinos. Today, we are
giving our full commitment
to contribute to our countrys
disaster resilience through the
microinsurance products and
services we offer in Cebuana
Lhuillier and by actively
promoting it for public
awareness, he added.

In brief from Asia


News Network
More deaths
reported from cold
weather

THAILAND (The
Nation) -- As Upper
Thailand continues to be
affected by the cold spell,
nine deaths believed to
stem from hypothermia
were reported in Bueng
Kan, Nakhon Phanom,
Tak, Rayong and Udon
Thani provinces.
In Bueng Kans Seka
district where rainfall
continued for five
consecutive days and
the temperature on
Tuesday morning dipped
to 5 degrees Celsius,
a 50-year-old man,
Nic Chamnandee was
found dead in his sleep
at a relatives home. In
Phra Charoen district,
a 53-year-old man,
Banjong Khotmuangyot,
was found dead in his
home compound and
police suspected he had
a hypothermia-triggered
heart attack.

Changi Airport
handles record
55.4m passengers

SINGAPORE (The
Straits Times) -- Changi
Airport handled a record
55.4 million passengers
last year, a 2.5 percent
increase from 2014.
The number of aircraft
take-offs and landings
grew by 1.4 percent
year-on-year to 346,330,
Changi Airport Group
said on Wednesday
(January 27). December
was an especially busy
month with 5.29 million
passenger movements
recorded, the highest
ever for any single month
since the airport opened
in 1981. Changis top
10 markets last year by
passenger traffic were
Jakarta, Bangkok, Kuala
Lumpur, Hong Kong,
Manila, Tokyo, Bali, Ho
Chi Minh City, Taipei
and Sydney.

Five more
Indonesian bodies
wash ashore in
Malaysia

MALAYSIA (The Star)


-- Five more bodies
believed to be those of
illegal Indonesian migrants
were found in Malaysia
on Wednesday following
a boat tragedy, raising the
death toll to 18, police
said. Thirteen bodies
were found on Tuesday
after their boat capsized
in rough seas off southern
Johor state. Local police
chief superintendant
Rahmat Othman said the
five male bodies were
found on the beach.
They were trying to enter
Malaysia illegally. We will
continue the search and
rescue mission because
investigations revealed
that there could have been
between 30 to 35 people
on board the twin engine
boat, he said.

Vientiane Times

Thursday January 28, 2016 Region

Congress announces new Party Central


Committee members

HANOI (Vietnam News,


ANN) -- The list of newlyelected members of the 12th
Party Central Committee was
announced yesterday afternoon
at a plenary session of the 12th
National Party Congress.
The Congress has approved
the voting results for the new
Party Central Committee,
which has 200 members,
including 180 official members
and 20 alternate ones.
Nguyen Phu Trong, Party
General Secretary in the 11th
tenure, is among the 180 official
members.
The afternoon working
session took place under the
leadership of Politburo member
and National Assembly
Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung.
Politburo member and
Secretary of the Party Central
Committee Dinh The Huynh,
who is also head of the
Party Central Committee's
Commission for Information
and Education, presented a
report on acquiring delegates'
feedback on the Congress's
draft documents.
Draft documents submitted
to Congress continued to
stress the development of
science and technology as
the most important driving
force for economic growth,
environmental protection and
strengthened defence and
security.
Discussing the content,
Nguyen Viet Dung, Director
of HCM City's Department
of Science and Technology,
underscored two new points
compared to previous
documents.

Leaders of the
State, Party and
Government vote
for the new Party
Central Committee,
which has 200
members.
--Photo VNS

First, investment in
technology development and
application must come before
everything else in all sectors
and agencies, Dung said. The
other point is that all resources
should be mobilised apart from
the State budget, and thus it is
necessary to have more policies
to encourage social investment
in the field.
Among measures put forth
by the draft for promoting
technology development and
application, the official took
note of the solution on building
scientific-technological
organisations using advanced

Vote for the best governor,


Ahok tells Jakartans

Jakarta Governor Basuki Ahok Tjahaja Purnama poses for a


photograph with children in traditional attire after he opens a childfriendly park in Karet Tengsin, Central Jakarta. --Photo The Jakarta Post

INDONESIA (The Jakarta


Post, ANN) -- Jakarta Governor
Basuki Ahok Tjahaja Purnama
has told Jakartas voters to
elect the best candidate in the
2017 gubernatorial election
to ensure that the capital city
will be much better in the five
coming years.
He says he doesnt mind if
he is not elected, if there is a
better candidate than himself.
If there is a candidate who
is better than me with more
sensible policies, dont vote
for me, Ahok said in Jakarta
on Wednesday.
Who knows, [maybe]
there is someone who could
develop flood mitigation

projects without evicting the


people from slum areas, or
there is someone who can
solve traffic congestion without
introducing electronic road
pricing (ERP), said Ahok.
Ahok is still the most
electable candidate to be
Jakarta governor. In a recent
survey carried out by the Centre
for Strategic and International
S t u d i e s ( C S I S ) , A h o k s
electability rating stands at
45 percent in the capital city,
while Emils is 15.75 percent,
followed by Surabaya Mayor
Tri Rismaharini at 7.75 percent
and former youth and sports
minister Adhyaksa Dault with
4.25 percent.

models and suitable operation


mechanisms, as well as boosting
international co-operation and
completing relevant legal
frameworks on innovation and
start-up activities.
Nearly 150 reporters from
more than 20 overseas press
agencies have registered to
report on the Congress.
Deputy Head of the
Party Central Committee's
Commission for Publicity and
Education Nguyen The Ky,
who is also Director of the
Congress's Press Centre, said
major foreign press agencies
such as the AP, AFP, Reuters,

ITAR-TASS, Xinhua News


Agency, China People's Daily,
China Central Television and
Al Jazeera TV channel of Qatar
had sent their reporters to the
event.
Luke Vargas, a reporter
from the US-based Talk
Media News, praised the wellequipped Press Centre and
said he planned to question a
number of delegates about Viet
Nam's foreign policies stated
in the Congress's Resolution
and other documents, which
are of concern to Talk Media
News readers. Officials,
Party members and people

nationwide expressed their trust


in the new crop of Vietnamese
leaders elected to the 12th Party
Central Committee on Tuesday.
Vu N g o c H o a n g ,
permanent deputy head of the
Party Central Committee's
Commission for Publicity and
Education, said the outcome of
the Party Central Committee
election reflected democracy,
consensus and a renewal in
Party activities.
The nomination of officials
outside of the candidate list
was an improved democratic
step, he said, adding that
nearly all cities and provinces

had officials elected to the


Committee.
He believed that the
new leadership would steer
the country across sectors
comprehensively toward
firmly safeguarding national
sovereignty and maintaining an
environment of peace in service
of development.
Minister of Agriculture
and Rural Development Cao
Duc Phat hailed personnel
preparations for the election
as thorough and democratic,
saying that it reflected
the delegates' sense of
responsibility to the Party,
country and people.
Trieu Dinh Le, permanent
Vice Secretary of the Cao Bang
provincial Party Committee,
said the number of Party
Central Committee members
was rational and ensured
the Party's comprehensive
leadership in almost all aspects
of social life.
Lo Doan Kieu, 72, a retiree
in Nguyen Trai precinct in the
northern city of Ha Giang, said
he believed the newly elected
officials would have both the
talent and moral virtue to lead
the country forward.
He said he hoped that more
positive and radical changes
would be made in education,
particularly in mountainous
provinces where there was still
a lack of schools and learning
tools.
Nguyen Van Vang, chairman
of the Xin Cai communal
People's Committee, said he
wished more attention would
be paid to personnel training in
remote and mountainous areas.

In diplomatic flurry, Park


considers Iran visit
SOUTH KOREA (The Korea
Herald, ANN) -- The move
came as criticism is rising over
the nations insufficient efforts
to restore ties with Iran which
boasts a lucrative market with
a population of 80 million, for
which China, Japan, Russia,
Germany and other countries
have beefed up diplomacy
to advance their economic
interests.
Chinese President Xi Jinping
traveled to Tehran last Saturday,
becoming the first international
leader to visit Iran after the
nuclear-related sanctions were
lifted on January. 16. Beijing
inked 17 agreements with Tehran
for cooperation in energy, trade
and other areas.
China is currently Irans
largest trading partner with
bilateral trade surpassing US$50
billion in 2014, while the trade
volume between Korea and Iran
in the year dipped to $8.6 billion,
less than half the trade volume
recorded in 2011.
Japanese Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe is also considering
visiting Iran after its dispatch of
a massive business delegation
last year. Russian President
Vladimir Putin visited Tehran
last November to enhance
economic ties with Iran.
Seoul has also been

constantly seeking to bolster


economic ties with Tehran,
though critics argue that its
efforts to restore ties have been
inadequate.
Last June, Seouls then
First Vice Minister Cho Taeyong visited Iran to discuss
bilateral cooperation. His
visit was followed by Foreign
Minister Yun Byung-ses trip
to the country last November,
during which he met with
Iranian President Hassan
Rouhani. Yoo Il-ho, then land
and transport minister, also
visited Iran last August.
S e o u l o ff i c i a l s h a v e
expressed confidence in
bolstering ties with Tehran,
arguing that despite US-led
nuclear sanctions against Iran,
South Korea has been struggling
to maintain adequate bilateral
economic relations.
However, observers say
that Seoul should do more to
keep up with other nations,
and that it needs to craft a
more sophisticated, long-term
diplomatic strategy toward
the Middle East and reduce its
excessive diplomatic focus on
Northeast Asia and the U.S.
S e o u l s e f f o r t s a r e
somewhat belated given that
other nations have already been
scurrying to court Tehran and

boost their economic ties with


it. But better late than never,
said Chang Byung-ock, an Iran
expert at Hankuk University of
Foreign Studies.
Seoul should strengthen its
summit diplomacy with Tehran
and devise a long-term, stable
strategy to deal with crucial
Middle East partners rather than
keep making quick-fix solutions
all of a sudden, whenever
something transpires.
As part of its efforts to
restore lost ground in the Iranian
market, Seoul has been seeking
to hold various consultations

involving government officials,


local banks and businesses.
On Wednesday, the Ministry
of Land, Infrastructure and
Transport held a meeting with
bankers and entrepreneurs to
discuss ways to support local
businesses hoping to advance
into Irans infrastructure
construction market.
Seoul also plans to resume
the bilateral minister-level
economic cooperation panel
meeting -- suspended since
2006 due to economic sanctions
-- late next month or early
March.

Vientiane Times

Thursday January 28, 2016

World

Russia will not yield to


western pressure

MOSCOW (Xinhua) -- Russia


intends to build relationships
with western countries on the
basis of equality and mutual
benefit, and it will no longer
yield to external pressure,
Foreign Minister Sergei
Lavrov said on Tuesday.
Our western colleagues
sometimes say that there will be
no more business as usual with
Russia, and I am convinced that
this is true, Lavrov said during
his annual press conference
broadcast online.
Such statements by
western countries imply
attempts to impose on us
agreements that take into
account primarily the interests
of the European Union or the
United States, and to persuade
us that they would not damage
our interests. This story is
over, the minister said.
Lavrov said that Russia
was implementing structural
reforms and substituting
imports in order not to be
dependent on zigzags in

western politics.
Meanwhile, Moscow
remains open and ready to
cooperation with the West, but
only on the basis of equality
and all other principles of
international law, he said.
M e n t i o n i n g N AT O s
eastward expansion close to
the Russian border and the
establishment of the USs
global missile defense system
in Europe and Northeast Asia,
the Russias top diplomat
said such unconstructive and
dangerous policies are shortsighted and destabilizing.
Attempts to reverse this
situation have been met with
poor results, he added.
The minister also noted
that a unipolar ideology can no
longer dominate international
politics.
The world is leaving
behind the epoch of the total
domination of the West and is
now in a long transition period
to a more stable system, where
there will be no single pole

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov addresses his annual press


conference in Moscow.
--Photo Xinhua

of domination, Lavrov said,


adding that the emergence of
a truly multi-polar world may
take a long and painful period
as old customs take a long time
to fade away.
With regard to Russias
relations with China, he
considered it a model of
international cooperation.

It is in fact the best in the


history of relations between
our countries and our peoples
... There is no other country
with which we have such
an extensive network of
cooperation mechanisms,
Lavrov said, hailing the ties
as systemic and having led
to impressive results.

French taxis, air traffic controllers,


schools on strike
PARIS (AP) -- Paris police
fired tear gas and taxi drivers
lit bonfires on a major
highway on Tuesday amid
nationwide strikes and protests
over working conditions
and competition from nontraditional services such as
Uber.
Prime Minister Manuel
Valls met with taxi drivers in
an apparent attempt to defuse
tensions. He condemned
the drivers violence but
promised to strengthen
a police crackdown on the
competing taxi services the
drivers are protesting. He
is also forming a panel of
taxi company representatives
and government ministers to
discuss reforms in the sector.
Tuesdays protests are
the latest challenge to the
Socialist government as it tries
to modernise the economy

and find Frances place in an


increasingly globalised, online
marketplace.
One in five flights were
canceled at Paris airports and
other flights faced delays as
air traffic controllers staged
a walkout and taxi drivers
disrupted roads. Twenty people
were detained at protests
around the French capital,
according to Paris police, and
i-Tele television reported that
two people were injured at
Orly Airport when a shuttle bus
tried to force its way past a taxi
drivers blockade.
Some teachers and other
public servants are also on
strike over wages, education
reforms and working
conditions.
Hundreds of French taxis,
joined by a few from Belgium
and Spain, blocked a massive
intersection leading into

western Paris. Dozens of taxi


drivers tried to march onto an
eight-lane bypass, but police
pushed them back with tear
gas. Some drivers set predawn bonfires, put out later by
firefighters.
Traditional taxi drivers
say theyre suffering unfair
competition from Uber, which
has faced legal challenges
around Europe.
Ubers lowest-cost service
is banned in France and two
Uber executives go on trial
next month in Paris for fraud.
Previous French taxi protests
have also turned violent, with
ambushes of Uber drivers and
passengers.
Karim Asnoun, head of
the CGT Taxi Union, said
at Tuesdays Paris protest:
Unfortunately the governments
are weak and as unemployment
is pressuring them, they cede.

Taxi drivers on strike stand next to their cars as they demonstrate in Paris.

They think they are creating


jobs, whereas for every created
job there is one thats destroyed.
Uber sent a message to
French customers warning of
potential violence, saying the
goal of Tuesdays protest is to
put pressure on the government
to ... limit competition. It
warned that limiting appbased car services would
raise costs, put drivers out of
work and send customers back
to the era before apps and
smartphones.
Protests were also held in
other French cities. Uber drivers
vandalize professionals
who are paying taxes, who
respect the rules, said Rachid
Boudjema, 37, president of the
taxi drivers union in Marseille.
He described American
cowboys who want to
destroy our system, the system
we are all attached to.

--Photo AP

Brazil is losing battle


against mosquito
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) -Brazils health minister says
the country is sending some
220,000 troops to battle the
mosquito blamed for spreading
a virus suspected of causing
birth defects - but he also says
the war is already being lost.
Marcelo Castro said that
nearly 220,000 members
of Brazils Armed Forces
would go door-to-door to
help in mosquito eradication
efforts ahead of the countrys
Carnival celebrations. Agency
spokesman Nivaldo Coelho
said Tuesday details of the
deployment are still being
worked out.
Castro also said the
government would distribute
mosquito repellent to some
400,000 pregnant women who
receive cash-transfer benefits.
But the minister also said
the country has failed in efforts
against the Aedes aegypti
mosquito that transmits Zika,
dengue, chikungunya and
yellow fever.
The mosquito has been
here in Brazil for three
decades, and we are badly
losing the battle against the
mosquito, the ministers told
reporters as a crisis group
on Zika was meeting in the
capital, Brasilia.
A massive eradication
effort eliminated Aedes
aegypti from Brazil during
the 1950s, but the mosquito
slowly returned over the
following decades from
neighbouring nations, public
health experts have said. That
led to outbreaks of dengue,
which was recorded in record
numbers last year.
The arrival of Zika in
Brazil last year initially caused
little alarm, as the virus
symptoms are generallymuch
milder than those of dengue.
It didnt become a crisis
until late in the year, when
researchers made the link with
a dramatic increase in reported
cases of microcephaly, a rare

birth defect that sees babies


born with unusually small
heads and can cause lasting
developmental problems.
T h e Wo r l d H e a l t h
Organisation repeated
Tuesday that the link remains
circumstantial and is not yet
proven scientifically.
But worry about the rapid
spread of Zika has expanded
across the nation, and the
hemisphere beyond. The US
Centres for Disease Control
and Prevention has advised
pregnant women to reconsider
travel to Brazil and 21 other
countries and territories with
Zika outbreaks.
One of them, the US
territory of Puerto Rico,
reported 18 new confirmed
cases of Zika on Tuesday,
though none involve pregnant
women. One case had been
reported earlier.
Officials in El Salvador,
Colombia and Brazil have
suggested women stop getting
pregnant until the crisis has
passed.
Repellent has disappeared
from many Brazilian
pharmacies and prices for the
product have tripled or even
quadrupled where its still
available in recent weeks since
the government announced a
suspected link between Zika
virus and microcephaly
Nearly 4,000 suspected
cases of microcephaly have
been reported in Brazil since
October, compared with fewer
than 150 cases in the country
in all of 2014.
Castros remarks have
proven controversial, both in
and outside Brazil.
World Health Organisation
spokesman Christian
Lindmeier said he hadnt seen
the remarks, but ingeneral
terms I think that this would
be a bit of a fatalistic approach
because this should mean
we could lay down all our
approaches now and declare
the war lost.

Migrant, refugee sea


arrivals in Greece surpass
45,000 this year
G E N E VA ( X i n h u a ) - With 45,361 migrants and
refugees reaching Greece
by sea since the beginning
of 2016, the International
Organisation for Migration
(IOM) reported on Tuesday
that this represents around
31 times the 1,472 arrivals
recorded for the whole of
January 2015.
Statistics reveal that 90
percent of registered maritime
arrivals hail from either
Syria, Iraqor Afghanistan,
the three countries whose
fleeing nationals are allowed
to freely cross the GreekFormer Yugoslav Republic of
Macedonia border in view of
reaching Western Europe.
With such a high number of
people reaching Greek shores

and winter weather conditions


compounding hazardous sea
crossings, IOM reported that
the Mediterranean death toll
is also rising.
As of January 25, 177
people have lost their lives
while attempting to cross the
Mediterranean Sea, mostly
on the Eastern Mediterranean
route separating Turkey and
Greece where 158 have died
so far this year.
A further 19 people have
perished on the Central
Mediterranean passage linking
North Africa and Italy.
Most of this years EU sea
arrivals (47,214) have been
registered in Greece (45,361),
followed by Italy where 1,853
migrants and refugees have
arrived.

Vientiane Times

Business

Read more news at www.vientianetimes.org.la

Lao businesses
back Party policies

Somsack Pongkhao

Businesses have expressed their


wholehearted support for the Partys
policies adopted at the 10th Party
Congress last week, saying they would
foster growth.
Vice President of the Lao National
Chamber of Commerce and Industry,
Ms Valy Vetsaphong, told Vientiane
Times recently If we can implement
the Partys policies adopted at the
10th Party Congress, our country will
develop more quickly.
Ms Valy said one of the most
important points to remember was that
the public and private sectors must
work closely together to realise the
goals set by the Party. The congress
elected younger and capable Party
leaders to direct the implementation of
the socio-economic development plan
over the next five years.
The business sector is ready to
translate the Partys policies into our
own detailed plans and projects and to
serve as the nations economic army,
she said.
I have talked to several
businesspeople and found that they
were very enthusiastic about developing
the countrys economy in this era of
economic integration.
She called on government to do
more to help business operators, saying
that all promotion policies and laws
should reflect the voice of the business
community.
Ms Valy said the business sector
needed to fully understand the Partys
and governments policies and
implement them properly, while the
public sector also needed to understand

the problems faced by business


operators.
This means we have to sit down
and talk more about how we can work
together more closely. The various
bodies working for the government
need to work harder to grow the
business sector, she said.
One of the most important things
is that we have to build professional
businesspeople so they can fully
implement the Partys policies. I agree
that the energy and capacity of some of
our business leaders must be enhanced
to catch up with others in the region.
Ms Valy said there were some still
barriers to the growth of the business
sector, which should be addressed in
the near future.
The 8th five-year national socioeconomic development plan for
2016-20 shifts the countrys focus to
sustainable economic growth, without
overreliance on natural resources.
Laos will concentrate on boosting
production and services, which will
help the economy to become stronger
and more sustainable, as well as more
resilient to external impacts.
Over the past five years, despite
a global economic recession, the Lao
economy has continued to grow at an
average of 7.9 percent annually.
The value of Gross Domestic
Product (GDP) has reached 102,320
billion kip (US$12.8 billion) with
average GDP per capita climbing to
15.8 million kip (US$1,970).
It is projected that the economy
will continue to grow at an average of
7.5 percent annually over the next five
years with GDP per capita expected to
reach US$3,190.

Thursday January 28, 2016

Koreans explore investment


opportunities in Laos
Times Reporters

Ms Valy Vetsaphong.

Some 15 businessmen and experts from


the Republic of Korea will undertake
an investment and market research
mission in Laos from January 28-30
in collaboration with the Ministry of
Planning and Investment.
The delegation will visit various
industrial sites in Vientiane, including
the Lao Brewery Company, Special
Economic Zone, the Kolao Group, and
Charoen Pokphand, a senior ministry
official said.
The Korean delegation will also
meet with Lao businessmen and experts
at the Investment Promotion Forum, to
be held in Vientiane on Friday.
At the meeting, Korean businessmen
and experts will learn about the current
investment climate in the sectors of
agricultural products, food processing
and agricultural development.
The delegates will also be offered an
opportunity to establish networks with
business representatives and officials
in Laos through a one-on-one business
meeting.
In a message this week, the

Secretary General of the Asean-Korea


Centre, Mr Kim Young-sun, noted that
Laos has maintained an annual growth
rate of about 7 percent and has great
potential thanks to its growing domestic
market and young workforce.
Also, the Lao government provides
special assistance to foreign companies
investing in the development of
agriculture.
I hope this programme will be a
stepping stone for Korean businessmen
to further expand their businesses in
Laos, Mr Kim said.
He stressed the fact that Laos has
developed its agricultural industry and
has plenty of fertile land. More than 70
percent of people in Laos depend on
agriculture for their livelihood.
Laos has underdeveloped
infrastructure such as electricity and
highways but more opportunities for
Korean businessmen will be created
as large-scale projects to enhance
connectivity within Asean will get
underway with the advent of the Asean
Community this year.
The Lao government has also
stated its intention to attract further

foreign investment and has designated


agriculture as a key sector for promotion.
Korea is currently Laos fourth
largest foreign investor behind Vietnam,
Thailand and China. There are 291
Korean investment projects in the
country with a total value of over
US$785 million.
The majority of Korean investment
projects are in the fields of hydropower
and mining but there is increasing
interest in the agriculture and industrial
sectors.
The Korean delegates will then go
on an investment and market research
mission in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in
collaboration with the Council for the
Development of Cambodia.
There, they will visit the Phnom
Penh Special Economic Zone, the
MH Bio-Energy, the Golden Rice
Cambodia, and the CP Cambodia Pig
Farm.
A similar forum will be held in
Phnom Penh where Korean delegates
and Cambodian businessmen will
discuss information concerning
investment, according to a statement
from the Asean-Korea Centre.

Chinese stocks fall again, other Asian markets rise


BEIJING (AP) -- Chinese stocks sank
again on Wednesday but other Asian
markets rose following Wall Streets
gain as investors looked ahead to the US
Federal Reserves latest statement on
interest rates and the economic outlook.
Chinas Shanghai Composite Index
shed 2.4 percent to 2,682.65, adding to
Tuesdays 6.4 percent loss. The Chinese
benchmark has now given up almost all
the gains made since December 2014.
Japans Nikkei 225 rose 2.6 percent to
17,142.52 and Hong Kongs Hang Seng
was up 0.8 percent at 19,015.18. South
Koreas Kospi gained 1.4 percent to
1,897.87 and Indias Sensex advanced
0.4 percent to 24,520.52. Markets in
Taiwan and Southeast Asia also gained.
Australias S&P/ ASX 200 lost 1.2
percent to 4,946.40 and New Zealand
also declined.
US stocks jumped as the price of oil
made another abrupt reversal and rose 4
percent following a decline the previous
day. Chevron and Exxon Mobil made
major gains. Strong fourth-quarter
results from beleaguered wireless
provider Sprint gave telecom stocks
a boost. The Dow Jones industrial
average jumped 282.01 points, or 1.8
percent, to 16,167.23. The Standard &
Poors 500 index rose 26.55 points, or
1.4 percent, to 1,903.63. The Nasdaq
composite index added 49.18 points,
or 1.1 percent, to 4,567.67.

Specialist Jason Hardzewicz, right, directs trading at his post on the floor of the
New York Stock Exchange.

Investors were watching Wednesdays Fed statement for signs of the pace of
possible future rate hikes. The US central bank raised rates last month for the first
time since the 2008 global crisis, citing improved inflation and other data. But
uncertainty over the strength of the dollar, low oil prices and Chinas outlook have
prompted warnings against raising rates too fast.
Fed officials will probably want to acknowledge the extra uncertainty raised
by recent financial and international developments, said Jim OSullivan of
High Frequency Economics in a report. But they will likely also want to avoid
encouraging the perception that a relatively modest bout of risk aversion in markets
or mixed signals from the data will promptly change their outlook in a major way.
Benchmark US crude shed 33 cents to US$31.12 per barrel in electronic trading
on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract soared US$1.11 on Tuesday
to close at US$31.45. Brent crude, the benchmark for international oils, fell 3 cents
to US$31.77 per barrel in London. It jumped US$1.30 on Tuesday to US$31.80.

Exchange rates as of January 27, 2016

Banque pour le Commerce Exterieur Lao Public


Foreign Currencies

Buying

Selling

US Dollar 50-100

8,130

8,170

Thai Baht

227.5

229.2

Euro 50-500

8,813

8,857

10 Business

Vientiane Times

Thursday January 28, 2016

Vientiane chicken
farms safe despite cold

Times Reporters

Most of the chicken farms in


Vientiane have survived without
any impacts from the recent
cold weather despite it being
unseasonal.
Chicken farm owners from
different farms around the city
have confirmed their chickens
are still in good health and laying
eggs as normal despite the cold
weather over the last four days.
One chicken breeder in
Vientiane, Mr Thongsouk
Sinsisouphanthong, told
Vientiane Times yesterday that
most of the chickens at his
farm, which is located at the
Phonkeo village, Naxaithong
district, are fine.
However he confirmed that
some local people who were
breeding poultry in their fields
or gardens had seen them die
due to a lack of shelter from
the weather.
Mr Thongsouk said all of his
chickens have been vaccinated,

receive good quality feed and


vitamin supplements.
We also take care when the
weather changes to guarantee
that we identify and cases of
sickness or death, he added.
Chickens have strong
health and lay good eggs at
temperatures between 1825 degrees Celsius. If the
temperature is below 18 or
higher than 25 degrees Celsius,
farm owners need to take closer
care of their chickens.
Mr Thongsouks farm
currently comprises around
4,000-5,000 chickens which
produce about 110-120 boxes
of egg a day.
He doesnt worry about the
weather but he is concerned
about the market as the market
is a major factor in terms of his
income and his profit levels.
The egg price currently is
good as the numbers of chicken
breeders has decreased while
market demand is better, Mr
Thongsouk said.

The price of big eggs is


around 23,000-24,000 kip per
box (one box holds 30 eggs),
while medium eggs is 21,000
kip and small eggs is 17,00018,000 kip, Mr Thongsouk
reported.
As high competition drove
down the price of eggs, different
chicken breeders in Vientiane
had to cease operation as they
lacked the funds to continue
breeding.
In 2003, the Vientiane
chicken farm group comprised
171 members but currently
there are only half that number.
Mr Thongsouk said
that these farmers are still
producing sufficient eggs to
supply Vientiane markets
consumption needs.
Chicken farms in the
northern provinces, especially
Xieng Khaung and Huaphan,
are also safe as they are breeding
on indoor farms, according to
the Xieng Khuang provincial
livestock and fisheries section.

In brief
Swiss watch exports experience first downturn since 2009

GENEVA (Xinhua) -- Witnessing the first downturn in seven years, Swiss watch exports reached
21.5 billion Swiss francs (US$21.1 billion) last year, down 3.3 percent compared to 2014, the
Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry reported on Tuesday.
The figures reflect the tough environment experienced by the market as exports dropped from 3.2
percent in 2015s first quarter to minus 7.3 percent by the fourth.
The overvaluation of the Swiss franc, readjustments in Hong Kong, economic slowdown in
China together with tensions in the Middle East, a weak Russian rouble, and terrorism all
contributed to these negative trends, the Swiss watch federation said.
Generating 20.2 billion Swiss francs last year, watches accounted for close to 95 percent of all
exports with a total of 28.1 million timepieces exported, 460,000 fewer than in 2014.

Creative sector earns US$120 for British economy: figures

LONDON (Xinhua) -- Britains creative industries earn the countys economy almost US$14
million every hour, according to figures released on Tuesday. The industry is now worth US$120
billion a year, the figures published by the governments Department for Culture, Media and
Sport showed. The report showed the sector grew by 8.9 percent in 2014, almost double British
economy as a whole, and now accounts for 5.2 percent of the British economy.
Department officials in London predict that 2016 is set to be a blockbuster year for the British
music, film, video games, television and publishing sectors.

Australias central bank unlikely to cut rates on strong inflation data


SYDNEY (Xinhua) -- Australias central bank is unlikely to cut rates in the first half of 2016 as
the closely watched December inflation data came in above market expectations.
Australias consumer price index rose 0.4 percent in the December quarter, beating market
expectations of 0.3 percent, figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday
showed. Inflation is not dead. It is just resting, Commonwealth Bank economist Michael
Workman said.

Swedbank optimistic about Lithuanian GDP growth, forecasts


unchanged

VILNIUS (Xinhua) -- Swedbank, the second largest bank in Lithuania, forecast the countrys
economy to grow by 3.3 percent this year, nearly double of its projections of last years 1.7
percent growth rate, Swedbank announced on Tuesday.
In 2017, Swedbank expects 3 percent GDP growth for Lithuania. The banks projections for this
and next year remained unchanged from previous forecasts.
Lithuania surprisingly well withstood slowdown of exports to Russias market, NerijusMaciulis,
Swedbanks chief economist, was quoted as saying by local website vz.lt.
Despite of deteriorating trade relations with the former large export partner, overall Lithuanian
good and services exports grew by 0.6 percent in 2015, compared to 2014.

Rio Tinto sells Aussie coal mine to Indonesias Salim Group

SYDNEY (Xinhua) -- Global resources heavyweight Rio Tinto Plc is selling one of its last
remaining Australian coal assets to Indonesian conglomerate Salim Group as the company
continues its exit from coal as commodities continue to tumble.
Rio Tinto on Wednesday announced it was selling its Mount Pleasant thermal coal mine to
private company MACH Energy Australia Pty Ltd for US$224 million plus royalties. MACH
Energy Australia is a subsidiary of Indonesian conglomerate Salim Group, owned by Indonesias
third richest man, AnthoniSalim. Royalties from the colliery would only be payable once thermal
coal - used in power generation - prices exceed US$72.50 per tonne, well above current spot
delivery prices of around US$47 per tonne.

Gold surges to highest this year as


turmoil skewers US interest rate outlook

Gold is up 5 percent this year with the MSCI Asia Pacific Index down 11 percent.

SINGAPORE (Bloomerg, The


Straits Times) - Gold surged
to the highest level in more
than two months as demand
for haven assets strengthened
due to a global retreat in stocks
and a renewed slump in oil,
with investors scaling back bets
about the pace and timing of US
interest rate increases.
Bullion for immediate
delivery gained as much as
0.7 percent to US$1,115.08 an
ounce, the highest price since
Nov 3, and was at US$1,114.82
at 2:49 p.m. in Singapore,
according to Bloomberg generic
pricing. The metal is up 5 percent
this year with the MSCI Asia
Pacific Index down 11 percent.
The index fell on Tuesday,
snapping two days of gains, as
stocks in China slid.
Gold has reestablished its
credentials in the opening month
of 2016 as the commodity that
can outperform when aversion
to risk increases. Investors have
been turning to safer assets amid
tumbling stocks, weaker oil
prices and concern that Chinas
currency may extend declines.

The turmoil in financial markets


has prompted investors to reduce
bets that US interest rates will
increase in March, adding to
bullions allure.
Theres risk in the equity
markets, so thats why we have
seen this increase in safe-haven
demand, said Helen Lau, an
analyst at Argonaut Securities
(Asia) Ltd. The US may
withhold raising interest rates,
so thats also warming up the
sentiment toward gold. The
funds are flowing into ETFs, so
this will drive up the investment
demand.
The odds of a rise in US
borrowing costs in March have
been cut to 25 percent from 51
percent at the start of the year,
and the chance of a raise in
June is now 44 percent from
75 percent, according to bets
tracked by Bloomberg. Federal
Reserve policy makers gather
Jan 26 to 27 and analysts see no
chanceof an increase at their first
meeting of the year.
Increasing rates is out
of the question now, but the
statements subsequent to that

- whats the kind of tonne and


how hawkish theyre going to
sound, or how dovish theyre
going to sound - that will add
more impetus to the current
rally, GnanasekarThiagarajan,
director of Mumbai-based
Commtrendz Risk Management
Services Ltd, said by phone.
Gold may head toward
US$1,200 if it crosses
strong technical resistance
of US$1,140.45, said
MrGnanasekar. Bullion may
rally to US$1,400 an ounce in
the next few years, George Gero,
the vice president of global
futures at RBC Capital Markets,
told Bloomberg in an interview.
Prices havent traded at that level
since September 2013.
Holdings in exchange-traded
funds backed by gold rose 0.5
metric tonnes to 1,503.5 tonnes
as of Monday, data compiled
by Bloomberg show. The assets
climbed for a sixth day and are
2.9 percent higher since the end
of 2015.
Spot silver rose 0.5 percent,
while platinum fell 0.2 percent
and palladium was little changed.

Apple sees first sales dip in more than a


decade as super-growth era falters
AGENCIES (China Daily) -- Apple Inc forecast
its first revenue drop in 13 years and reported the
slowest-ever growth iniPhone shipments as the
critical Chinese market showed signs of weakening,
suggesting thetechnology companys period of
exponential growth may be ending.
The most valuable publicly traded US tech
company said on Tuesday it sold 74.8 millioniPhones
in its fiscal first quarter, ended Dec 26, the first full
quarter of sales of the iPhone 6Sand 6S Plus. The 0.4
percent growth in shipments was the lowest since
the product waslaunched in 2007.
IPhone sales were expected to fall for the current
quarter over a year ago, Chief ExecutiveTim Cook
said on a conference call with analysts.
While in the Greater China market, the company
reported revenue had nearly doubled in thefourth
quarter, up 14 percent than Q3.
Apple reached a revenue of US$18.37 billion
in the market in Q3, accounting for 24.2 percent
oftotal revenue. The company is beginning to see
a shift in the economy, particularly in Hong Kong,
AppleChief Financial Officer Luca Maestri told
Reuters in an interview.
As we move into the March quarter its
becoming more apparent that there are some signs
ofeconomic softness, Maestri said. We are starting
to see something that we have not seenbefore.
Apple forecast second-quarter revenue of
US$50 billion to US$53 billion, below analysts
averageforecast of US$55.5 billion. In the same
quarter last year Apple reported revenue of US$58
billion.
Apples guidance for the March quarter implies
iPhone sales of 45 to 50 million units in theMarch

quarter, which would mark the companys first-ever


decline in sales of the gadget, saidanalyst Daniel
Ives of FBR Capital Markets & Co.
In the same quarter last year Apple sold 61.2
million iPhones.
Apples iPhone shipments fell short of analyst
expectations for 75.5 million, according toresearch
firm FactSet StreetAccount.
Apple reported earnings of US$3.28 per share,
beating the average analyst estimate of US$3.23per
share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue increased 1.7 percent to US$75.87billion,
both records for the company.
Analysts had expected revenue of US$76.54
billion. Apples overall performance was slightly
better than feared, said Ives at FBR.
The rise in iPhone shipments in the key holiday
shopping quarter was the smallest since thesecond
fiscal quarter of 2013, when they rose 6.8 percent,
according to data companyStatista.
Maestri attributed the lackluster revenue
to foreign exchange headwinds caused by the
strongUS dollar, which he said knocked about US$5
billion off the companys revenue.
The companys shares, which have fallen
5 percent this year, bounced around in afterhourstrading and were down 0.7 percent as a call
with analysts was underway.
Its disappointing to see them miss on an
already downward adjusted sales number and
thefact is that with their iPhone growth slowing
what was needed was a product to be excitedabout,
said J.J. Kinahan, chief strategist at TD Ameritrade.
Pressure on the shares willcontinue without a
well-defined plan to grow sales or a new product.

Vientiane Times

Thursday January 28, 2016

Lao stock market report


Trade Summary
Dragged down by BCEL, the LSX closed lower by 2.66 points at 1,177.42 points on Wednesday
after staggering at 1,180.08 points for two days. Following 7,200 shares traded for a turnover
of 39.2 million kip, the trading volume could have been better for the favourable prices of
the listed stocks. The two stocks traded today were EDL-Gens and BCELs, while the other
stocks have been quiet for this session.
EDL-Gen still closed at 5,900 kip, for a sixth day, on 4,500 shares matched. On the other
hand, BCEL decreased by 200 kip to make way for the selloff of 2,200 shares, contributing
about 11 million kip to the market turnover, while LWPC, PTL and SVN were not able
to witness the exchange of their shares, closing flat at 7,100 kip, 2,850 kip, and 3,300 kip
respectively.
Daily Turnover by Investor Types (LAKm)

Business 11

Asean Economic Community

Asean-Korea Centre to boost


Lao handicraft industry

A man demonstrates basket weaving techniques at a recent annual handicraft festival in Vientiane.

Last 7 days Trading Information

Times Reporters

The Asean-Korea Centre


anticipates that it will be
able to help Lao handicraft
manufacturers to successfully
access Korean markets in the
years to come, after launching an
exclusive discussion platform in
Vientiane today.
The Product Development
Seminar for Handicraft SMEs
in Laos, which is being
held in Vientiane today, is
designed to support Korean
market penetration of Lao
handicraft makers through
BCEL-KT Securities Company Limited Email: Broker@bcel-kt.com
further enhancing their product
development capacities.
According to the centre, Laos
has many outstanding qualities in
terms of handicraft products but
it is unable to access the Korean
HCM CITY (VNS) -- Vietnamese chairman of the VietnamThey should also clearly state market successfully because
firms should study the Myanmar Myanmar Friendship Association, information on their products in
market and act quickly to take said the manufacturing sector had both English and Burmese on the
advantage of trade and investment not developed in Myanmar.
packaging, he said.
opportunities there, the Investment
As a result, Myanmar mostly
In an effort to help Vietnamese
and Trade Promotion Centre of imported consumer products from firms promote trade in Myanmar
HCM City has said.
other countries, mainly from the market, ITPC will organise the
Pham ThietHia, the centres two bordering countries of China Vietnam-Myanmar Trade,
director, said that Myanmar, and Thailand.
Service and Tourism Exhibition PHILIPPINE (Philippine Daily
with its population of 55 million,
In recent years, Vietnamese 2016 (HCM City Expo 2016) in Inquirer, ANN) -- Government
economic managers will
has high demand for many kinds firms had expanded exports to Yangon from April 1-4.
of products that Vietnamese Myanmar, but they still accounted
The expo will feature 90 convince US investors that
companies manufacture at a high for a small market share due to leading Vietnamese enterprises t h e P h i l i p p i n e s g r o w t h
standard.
high transportation costs, he said. involved in sectors such as story is sustainable despite
Myanmar people favour
Vietnamese goods have also processed food, household an upcoming change in the
Vietnamese goods, he said.
faced fierce competition from utensils, garments and textiles, administration, the Investor
They include electric and Thai and Chinese goods.
as well as electronics and Relations Office (IRO) said.
electronic equipment, construction
Myanmar is currently interior decorations in 120
In a statement, IRO said
materials, information and offering incentives to stimulate booths, said Ho Hong Long, BangkoSentralngPilipinas
technology, food, confectionary investment in manufacturing head of the ITPCs Trade Governor Amando M. Tetangco
and agricultural materials and sector, so Vietnamese firms Promotion Division.
Jr. and Finance Secretary Cesar
production technologies.
should study the market and act
In addition, the centre V. Purisima would deliver
Le Tan Minh, deputy head quickly, he said.
w i l l o rg a n i s e a m a r k e t the keynote addresses at the
of the centres Trade Promotion
Minh said there was still room r e s e a r c h p r o g r a m m e b y
Philippines Business and
Division, said voltage regulators for Vietnamese goods to penetrate visiting wholesale markets,
were in demand in Myanmar various segments of the market. supermarkets and others in Investment Forum to be held
as its electricity grid was being
Vietnamese firms should Yangon and Mandalay from in New York on March 2-4.
The forum, spearheaded by
improved.
clearly understand Myanmars March 31 to April 5 to help
Manilas
envoy to Washington
Myanmars agricultural customs and tariff policies if they Vietnamese firms understand
Jose
L.
Cuisia
Jr., will bring
production is mainly based on want to penetrate the market, he more about the Myanmar
together
influential
leaders
traditional cultivation method.
said.
market, he said.
So it needs hi-technology
In addition, firms should pay
Last year Vietnams exports from the Philippine government
from Vietnam to apply agricultural attention to research on consumer to Myanmar were worth more and private sector, along
production and processing, he culture to map out an appropriate than VND8,453,230 million with their US and relevant
said.
means to approach customers and compared to the 2014 figure of international counterparts,
for an in-depth analysis of
Do Ngoc Tam, deputy partners.
VND7,725,158 million.

Myanmar market holds potential

of the traditional process of


commercialisation.
As a result, Lao handicraft
makers need to enhance their
product development capacities
in terms of design and marketing
for global market penetration.
At todays seminar, experts
from the Republic of Korea in
the handicraft sector will also
give lectures on the themes
of Planning direction and
concept of hand-made brands
along with several interesting
presentations on handicraft
products in the Republic of
Korea.
The Centres Secretary
General Kim Young-sun noted
that The Centre introduced
various Lao handicraft products
to the Korean market through
the Asean Fair last year. There
is growing interest in Laos, with

its chairmanship of Asean in


2016, which is also an attractive
destination for Korean tourists.
He also hopes that this
seminar will serve as a platform
to enhance Korean market access
for Lao handicraft manufacturers
as well as to increase their
competitiveness.
Laos has a wide range of
well-known handicraft products,
almost all of them having been
on display at domestic and
foreign handicraft fairs over the
past years. Last year, the festival
featured a total of more than
200 booths, and was attended
by officials from Asean and
European embassies to Laos.
The discussion event is
being organised by the AseanKorea Centre, Laos Ministry of
Industry and Commerce and the
Korea Crafts Council.

Philippine economic managers


to meet with key US investors
the Philippine economic and
political situation, and the
opportunities it holds for
investors, both in capital
markets and in industry, IRO
said.
The objectives of this forum
are to convey the continuity of
the administrations economic
policy fundamentals through
the next electoral cycle, to
evaluate investment plans and
specific prospects in strategic
sectors, and to provide a
platform for direct networking
and business, IRO added.
IRO noted that ahead of
the national elections in May,
the international investors
community is looking at the
political panorama that may
influence Philippine economic
policy.
Among foreign investors
top concerns, it said, were
having enough confidence
that electoral politics and

outcomes will not roll back the


successful reforms and gains
made in this administration.
T h e P hilippines has
transformed over the years to
become one of the most resilient
economies in the world, owing to
strong fundamentals that include
low and stable inflation, and
sound financial system backed
by prudent monetary policy and
banking supervision, Tetangco
was quoted by IRO as saying.
Through the Philippines
Business and Investment Forum,
we will be able to elaborate on
how we did it. We will also be
able to give potential investors
and other observers a picture
of where the economy may be
headed, as well as the various
opportunities that await them,
Tetangco added.
Purisima, for his part,
stressed that the Philippines
has a great economic story
to tell.

12

Thursday January 28, 2016

Vientiane Times

Vientiane Times

Thursday January 28, 2016

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Thursday January 28, 2016

Vientiane Times

Vientiane Times

Thursday January 28, 2016

15

Travel

Praying for a
brighter future

The wooden statue of Goddess Kuan Yin is enshrined at Kian Un Keng a beautiful Chinese shrine looking out over the Chao Pharya
River, Bangkok.

A girl pays homage to Goddess Kuan Yin at Thian Fa Foundation


in Yaowarat, Bangkoks.

Phoowadon Duangmee

THAILAND (The Nation, ANN)


-- Hidden among the skyscrapers
and bustling marketplaces and
malls, Bangkok has plenty of
Chinese shrines to discover, from
award-winning shrines that make
a strong architectural statement
to a Monkey King Shrine that
fits well with the upcoming
Chinese New Year. A good way
of celebrating and welcoming the
Year of Monkey is to visit - or
revisit - some of the citys bestloved Chinese shrines.
You dont have to be
religious or even superstitious
to visit these sanctums. Some
are worth admiring for their
beautiful architecture and cultural
significance. Listen to the chants
and urban legends. Watch the
performing ancient rituals and
get giddy on the aromatic wafts
of incense. Every one has a story
to tell.
In keeping with the number
most favoured by the Chinese,
we look at eight shrines in
Bangkok that are well worth
seeing before the Monkey leaps
into action.
Thapthim Shrine, Pahurat
Known as Cha o M a e
Thabthim (Goddess of Water)
among the Chinese-speaking
community, this is one of the
most respected Chinese deities.
Thabthim is native to an island
in the South China Sea and
the seafarers who braved the
big waves as they sailed their
large junks to Thailand very
much counted on Chao Mae
Thabthims power. Shrines to
her can be found in several
Chinese communities, but
the most visited is in Pahurat,
Bangkoks Little India
right next-door to Chinatown.
This Chinese shrine provided
a safe house for people in

the neighbourhood during the


1940s when Bangkok was
bombed by the Allies. The Chao
Mae Thabthim Shrine draws
thousands of people during the
Chinese New Year.
Where: Corner of Chakphet
and Tri Phet Roads, Chinatown
Wat Mangkon Kamalawat
A l s o k n o w n a s Wa t
Leng Noei Yi, this temple
was established in 1871 for
Mahayana Buddhists in Siam.
Wat Mangkon Kamalawat is
the largest and most important
Chinese temple in Bangkok.
Incense and the sounds of
chanting dominate the prayer
hall, especially during the
Chinese New Year. Tea and fruit
are offered to gods and deities
as worshippers brave the clouds
of incense to kneel and pray for
a good and peaceful year ahead.
Where: Corner of Chareon
Krung and Mangon Roads,
Chinatown
Kuan Yin Shrine (Thian Fa
Foundation), Yaowarat
This Chinese shrine is part
of the Thian Fa traditional
Chinese medical hospital. True
to its name, Kuan Yin Shrine is
dedicated to the Chinese Goddess
Kuan Yin - the Mother of Mercy.
The hospital was established in
1902 by Chinese immigrants to
serve the destitute, a function it
continues to this day. The shrine
houses a statue of the Goddess
Kuan Yin statue that is said to be
carved from teak and believed to
be more than 800 years old. The
shrine always draws people to
pray for a healthy life during the
Chinese New Year.
Where: Corner of Yaowarat 5
Alley and Yaowarat Road
Guan Yu Shrine, Khlong
San, Thon Buri
Guan Yu - the red-faced,
bearded Chinese deity - was
a well-known warrior and is

Kian Un Keng is within walking distance of Wat Kalyanamitr, on the Thon Buri side of Bangkok.

known to Thais for his leading


role in the Romance of the Three
Kingdom novel. Described as a
criminal who fled his home to
join the militia, he is loved by
both the lawful and the lawless,
who admire his brave and honest
character. There are several
shrines to him but the oldest is
nestled along the Chao Phraya
River on the Thon Buri side
and is 280 years old. Three
statues of Guan Yu preside over
Chao Phraya River from inside
the shrines red chamber, The
smallest statue is believed to
have been brought from Fujian
in Southern China, while the two
others were contributed by Qing
emperors.
Where:: Take the ferry from
Si Phraya to Khlong San then a
tuk-tuk for the short ride to the
shrine.
Kian Un Keng Shrine,
Thon Buri bank of the Chao
Phraya
Looking out over the Chao
Phraya River and next door to
Wat Kalayanamitr, the Kian
Un Keng Shrine is one of the
oldest of its kind in Bangkok.
The shrine was founded and
rebuilt more than 200 years
ago. Rustic and beautiful, the
shrine draws visitors to pay
respects to the Goddess Kuan
Yin as well as to admire its
magnificent wood carvings.
Built by the Hokkien Chinese,
who followed King Taksin the
Great to the new capital city in
Thon Buri, the shrine makes
a strong statement about the
craftsmanship of that era.

Where: A ferry runs between


Pak Klong Talad and Wat
Kalayanamitr.
Guan Yu Shrine, Yaowarat
Unlike the famous Guan Yu
Shrine along the Chao Phraya
River, this shrine is smaller
though the intensity of the
incense cloud tends to be greater.
Hidden behind the Old Market of
Yaowarat, this shrine was erected
to honour both Guan Yu and his

horse, Red Hare. A magnificent


mount, Red Hare was said to be
strong and capable of travelling
200 kilometres a day. Devotees
visit the shrine once in a while to
pray for strength.
Where: Corner of Soi
Yaowarat 11 and Soi Yaowa
Phanich
Lao Pun Tao Kong, Yaowarat
Easy walking distance from
Ratchawong Pier to the corner

of Song Wat and Yaowa Phanit


roads, the shrine was established
by the Chinese immigrants who
disembarked from their junks
during the reign of King Rama
III of Siam to house and honour
traditional Chinese deities. Lao
Pun Tao Kong - a kind of chief
of staff of local deities - is
enshrined here. The shrine is said
to be especially good for those
who want their prayers answered
and devout worshippers flock
here to pay their respects all year
round - and especially during
Chinese New Year - to reflect
on their sins.
Where: Soi Rong Khom off
Song Wat Road
Sun Wukong Shrine, Wat
Traimit, Yaowarat
A trip to Chinese shines over
the Chinese New Year cannot
be completed without a visit to
a monkey shrine. Located in
the backyard of Wat Traimit where Chinese tourists come to
see the Golden Buddha - is Sun
Wukong Shrine. Sun Wukong is
a main character in the classical
novel Journey to West. Also
known as the Monkey King,
Sun Wukong accompanied the
monk Xuanzang on a journey
to retrieve Buddhist sutras from
India.
Where: Corner of Chareon
Krung Road and Kalantan Alley

Asia News Network (ANN)


THE DAILY YOMIURI
THE YOMIURI SHIMBUN

THE STRAITS TIMES

The Asia News Network (ANN) is a network of leading daily English


language newspapers in Asia, supported by the Konrad Adenauer
Foundation of Germany through its regional representative bureau in
Singapore.
It was established in March, 1999, to provide avenues for cooperation
and optimise coverage of major news events in the region.
It also aims to promote journalism, share news stories, feature articles,
editorials and personality profiles. ANN is the worlds most active
newspaper alliance with a membership base of 18 newspapers in 16
countries.
The German News Agency of Deutsche Presse-Agentur, as one of the
leading international agencies and ANNs exclusive partner, distributes
news and features, background stories and commentaries from ANN
to subscribers worldwide.
They consist of Rasmei Kampuchea (Cambodia), China Daily (China),
The Statesman (India), The Korea Herald (South Korea), The Star
(Malaysia), Sin Chew Daily (Malaysia), The Nation (Thailand), The
Straits Times (Singapore), The Philippine Daily Inquirer (Philippines),
The Jakarta Post (Indonesia), Vietnam News (Vietnam), The Daily
Star (Bangladesh), Vientiane Times (Laos), The Kathmandu Post
(Nepal), The Island (Sri Lanka), Brunei Times (Brunei), The Nation
(Pakistan), and China Post (Taiwan). The combined circulation of these
newspapers is more than 14 million copies per day.

16

Vientiane Times

Thursday January 28, 2016

Development

Some Doi Tung products.

Ceramics at the Doi Tung project.

Sustainable development learning from Thai royal project


Times Reporters

he Doi Tung
development project
of the Thai royal
foundation in Chiang
Rai province is one of the
proven successes of sustainable
development and could serve as
a role model for other countries
to follow.
Doi Tung is located in the
heart of the Golden Triangle,
which at that time was the
worlds leading region of opium
production. It was a survival
world where people lived in
extreme poverty, without basic
infrastructure.
Dwindling land and resources
made their traditional shifting
cultivation untenable. Limited
opportunities forced people to
grow opium, support the drug
trade, sell their children, and join
in other illegal activities, which
led to severe economic, social and
environmental problems such as
deforestation, drug addiction and
the spread of HIV/AIDS.
The kings mother, her
Royal Highness Princess
Srinagarindra, known as Mae
Fah Luang or the Royal Mother
from the Sky (who passed
away), recognised that the root
causes of the problems were
poverty and lack of opportunity.
She believed that no one
wants to be bad but they just dont
have an opportunity to be good.
Royal Highness Princess
Srinagarindra initiated the Doi
Tung Development Project in
1988 to restore the lives of the
people and their environment,
with the ultimate goal of enabling
a harmonious coexistence
between people and nature.
The Doi Tung Development
Project is administered by the
Mae Fah Luang Foundation
under Royal Patronage.
Nowadays, the area has
been outstandingly developed
and the living conditions of the
local people have been gradually
improved, and it has become
a learning centre which many
development projects within
Thailand itself and other countries
go there to learn from.
The project introduced new
legitimate livelihoods appropriate
for people of all ages, first as
forestry workers and then in a
variety of occupations. Coffee

and macadamia were introduced


as economic forest crops, with
many at Doi Tung tending their
own threes and working in
different stages of processing.
Handicrafts were promoted, built
upon a mix of local knowledge
and traditions with news skills
and techniques.
The Princess Mother also said,
Dont let people buy our products
out of pity, concerned that
development based on sympathy
would not be sustainable. Since
2002, the project has been selfsustaining through the earnings of
its four business units: handicrafts,
processed foods (coffee and
macadamia products), horticulture
(flowering and decorative plants),
and tourism.
In the projects weaving
factory, there are generations
spanning grandmothers, mothers
and daughters. The grandmothers
do the spinning, mothers do the
weaving and the youngest ones
do the sewing.
There are about 200 local
workers, who are aged between
20 to 65 years old working at this
factory. This employment has
empowered them and given them
the chance to stand on their own.
Mrs Kham, 64 years old,
is Thai Yai. When the project
workers met her at her house to
ask if she would like to join the
project to improve her life she said
no. She even escaped via her back
door. She didnt trust them at first
but once she was finally enticed
to join she has never looked back.
Before my life was hard as I
had no job. Since we have had the
project I have been working in this
weaving factory. My life is good
and now I have an income. Now
Im happy.
There are now some 1600
people working for the project, of
which 1200 are local people and
more than 60 percent are female.
The foundations chief
development officer ML
Dispanadda Diskul said 20 or
30 years ago it was not like this.
It is 27 years that we have been
building the community with
trust, sincerity and consistency.
Now, we have the participation
of all parties including local
villagers.
Our model works very well
here however to be applied in
city, the model would need to
be adapted as the mindset of city

Local villagers working on the weaving project in Doi Tung.

people is different.
Branding the products is of
vital importance to be successful,
he said. Its about quality and
understanding the market.
We rely on the hardworking
team for the market surveys,
product development and
assessing market trends.
If we compete with the
machines we will lose. We need to
move away from the market, we
need to find our unique place. Part
of our uniqueness is imperfection
because our products are not
perfect, they are made by hand.
Because they are not perfect,
because they are handmade, they
also fetch a high price, said Mr
Dispanadda.
We g e n e r a t e a b o u t
US$15 million from selling
our products in 2012 and some
income goes towards community
development.
Doi Tung Development
Project is a being undertaken by
Mae Fah Luang Foundation under
Royal Patronage.
The foundation is the leading
proponent of the development
philosophy and it is renowned not
only in Thailand but throughout
the world for its development
model that has given inspiration,
firsthand experience, and
knowledge to so many for over
forty years.

Vientiane Times

Thursday January 28, 2016

17

Opinion

Streetwise

What are your thoughts on the benefits of


special and specific economic zones?
Laos now has about 13 special and specific economic zones in existence or under construction.
Vientiane Times sought public opinion on the way in which the country would benefit from them.
allowed many to operate
here for some time already.
These days there are many
overseas companies doing
business, either building
shopping centres or setting up
operations in economic zones.
These places can benefit
the country economically
as large amounts of foreign
investment will generate a lot
of revenue for our country
and people. It would be easier
for the government to control
these businesses and unify
tax collection at one location.
These places sell all types of
products and offer all kinds
of services. They are modern
and use advanced technology
and equipment, so Lao
people can get to experience
a new kind of lifestyle
through modern facilities and
products.

Visith Teppalath

Mr Lufa, a resident of
Vatnak village, Sisattanak
district: It is good that Laos
now has both special and
specific economic zones set
up around the country. The

government has formulated


strong investment and
trade policies to attract
foreign investors and has

The That Luang Marsh specific economic zone in Vientiane is under construction.

Mr Deng Phanthai, a
resident of Naxaithong
district: The presence of more
special and specific economic
zones might increase the
number of job opportunities
for local people so they can

Vientiane Times Subscription 2015

earn a larger income. Those


who live near these zones
have a chance to improve
their living conditions.
They wont need to leave
Laos to find work because
these zones need to hire a
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for construction and then as


employees when the facilities
are up and running. The
authorities should publicise
the existence of these zones
and explain how local
people can get jobs there.
Some people dont know
much about them and may
mistakenly think theyre
only meant for foreigners
or the investors. I think the
fact that these places are
being constructed means
that Laos is becoming
modernised because they
are introducing a lot of

improved infrastructure.
However, the government
should closely monitor
construction and the progress
of work in these zones to
check that everything is being
done legally. Its important to
ensure that construction is not
harmful to the environment.
It should be environmentally
friendly and not have any
negative impacts on nearby
communities.
Mr Thatsaphone Phommaly,
a student at the Polytechnic
College: I think special and
specific economic zones
are very important for
boosting trade. Each zone
will help the immediate
locality to develop. I have
heard that the government is
authorising the construction
of economic zones in
many areas of the country,
depending on the special
potential and conditions in
each area. They are also
offering tax breaks and other
incentives, as these zones
are part of the economic
development plan for the
country. I think they will
make Laos more attractive to
foreign investors, especially
those in the manufacturing
industry. The zones are

centres of commerce,
services and industrial
processing, aimed at boosting
economic growth. They
are especially significant
now that Laos is part of the
Asean Community. Its also
a good way to let people
know about the manufacture
of products locally and

they also create jobs for


people, including unskilled
workers. This means people
have an opportunity to earn
more money if they have
a stable job. However, the
government should closely
monitor the outcomes of all
these projects, both in the
short and long term, and
strictly control the operators
so that these facilities bring
more advantages than
disadvantages to Laos.

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18 Opinion

Vientiane Times

Thursday January 28, 2016

Bringing renewable energy to life


in Indonesia: Solar and beyond

Jonathan P. Mailoa and Rezy


Pradipta

BOSTON (The Jakarta Post)


-- The cost of solar modules was
originally very high back in the
1970s, US$76 Watts-peak (wp),
but they have become much
more affordable quite recently
(less than US$0.50/wp in 2015)
thanks to several decades of
research and development.
While upfront costs tend
to be relatively high for a solar
system, the levelized cost of
electricity of utility-scale solar
power plants (US$0.13/kWh
by 2020) is rapidly approaching
that of conventional coal-fired
power plants (US$0.10/kWh,
according to the US Energy
Information Administration).
Granted, in many parts of the
world solar power is still not as
competitive as coal, especially
when the scale of the solar
project is small. However, the
cost is actually low enough
to allow for solar farms to be
built in remote areas that have
little or no coverage from the
traditional electric power grid
infrastructure.
In this context, solar power
is considered a technically
suitable method for delivering
electricity to such areas because
of its ability to form microgrids.
Unlike coal power plants,
which need frequent refueling
(meaning high operational cost
for remote areas), a solar plant

can be operated in isolation


without much need for resupply.
This capability would be
especially beneficial for regions
with as yet underdeveloped
infrastructure, by realising the
prospect of energy independence
for better living standards. The
question now is: How does
Indonesia fit into all this?
Indonesia, on average,
has a significant amount of
cloud cover and therefore is not
too attractive for nationwide
wholesale solar power. This
is quite understandable, since
Indonesia is an archipelago on
the equator that is covered by
an extensive stretch of tropical
rainforest.
However, certain regions
do have relatively little cloud
coverage and a higher level
of long-term solar irradiance.
These regions, which include
East Nusa Tenggara, would
make excellent sites for scalable
solar power plants. Although,
in practice, it is prudent to start
small and scale up gradually
as costs are anticipated to
decrease over time.
The recent completion of
the five-megawatt-peak solar
power plant in Kupang is an
encouraging first step toward
the development of solar power
in Indonesia.
The scale of the project itself
is small compared to the scale of
standard solar power plants (a
typical utility-scale project is in

the order of tens to hundreds of


MW-peaks).
As a result, the Kupang
plant might have a higher cost
than an average utility-scale
facility, since it has not fully
utilized the economies of scale.
Nevertheless, a crucial milestone
has been reached.
The completion of the
Kupang plant is also a critical
juncture for Indonesias
ambition toward the 500
Island renewable energy
project. In collaboration with
Caterpillar Inc., Indonesia
(represented by the state
electricity company PLN)
has signed a memorandum of
understanding to build hybrid
and photovoltaic plus energy
storage (microgrid) projects on
500 remote islands in Indonesia.
Included in the project is the
utilisation of more than 35 MWpeak photovoltaic panels and 250
MWh of energy storage capacity.
Energy storage batteries are a
particularly important element
for the formation of microgrids,
which would enable the plant to
store unused solar energy during
the day and discharge the stored
energy at night when the sun is
not shining.
This is especially so when the
remote islands are not serviced
by PLN because of infrastructure
constraints. As solar power and
other forms of renewable energy
grow into a more significant
fraction of the countrys energy

mix, the existence of robust


energy storage will be crucial to
balance the supply and demand
of electricity and maintain the
stability of the electrical grid.
The abovementioned
collaboration between PLN
and Caterpillar Inc. also has an
added benefit of boosting local
manufacturing. The energy
storage solution for this project
is being provided by Fluidic
Energy, an Arizona-based
company with zinc-air battery
technology.
While Fluidic Energy is a
foreign company, it has opened a
manufacturing facility in Bogor
to take advantage of Indonesias
abundance of high-quality zinc.
It is encouraging to see the
steps taken by the government to
ensure that solar manufacturing
creates local jobs and contributes
to Indonesias renewable energy
development. In addition to
supporting the local economy,
this also encourages the
Indonesian workforce to learn
advanced technology and
improves the overall quality of
Indonesias human resources.
--Jonathan P. Mailoa is
a doctoral candidate at the
Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, with a research
focus on solar photovoltaics.
Rezy Pradipta completed his
doctorate at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology and is
currently a research associate
at Boston College.

The perils of Fed gradual normalisation


Stephen S. Roach

(China Daily) -- By now, its an


all-too-familiar drill. After an
extended period of extraordinary
monetary accommodation,
the US Federal Reserve has
begun the long march back to
normalisation. It has now taken
the first step toward returning its
benchmark policy interest rate the federal funds rate - to a level
that imparts neither stimulus nor
restraint to the US economy.
A majority of financial
market participants applaud this
strategy. In fact, it is a dangerous
mistake. The Fed is borrowing
a page from the script of its
last normalisation campaign
- the incremental rate hikes of
2004-2006 that followed the
extraordinary accommodation
of 2001-2003. Just as that earlier
gradualism set the stage for a
devastating financial crisis and
a horrific recession in 20082009, there is mounting risk of
yet another accident on what
promises to be an even longer
road to normalisation.
The problem arises because
the Fed, like other major central
banks, has now become a
creature of financial markets
rather than a steward of the real
economy. This transformation
has been under way since the
late 1980s, when monetary
discipline broke the back of
inflation and the Fed was faced
with new challenges.
The Fed had, in effect,
become beholden to the monster
it had created. The corollary was
that it had also become steadfast
in protecting the financialmarket-based underpinnings of

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
shortly after the announcement that the US Federal Reserve had
hiked interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade in New York,
Dec 16, 2015.
--Photo Agencies

the US economy.
Over time, the Feds dilemma
has become increasingly
intractable. The crisis and
recession of 2008-2009 was far
worse than its predecessors, and
the aftershocks were far more
wrenching. Yet, because the
US central bank had repeatedly
upped the ante in providing
support to the Asset Economy,
taking its policy rate to zero,
it had run out of traditional
ammunition.
And so the Fed, under Ben
Bernankes leadership, turned
to the liquidity injections of
quantitative easing, making
it even more of a creature of
financial markets. With the
interest-rate transmission
mechanism of monetary policy

no longer operative at the


zero bound, asset markets
became more essential
than ever in supporting the
economy. Exceptionally low
inflation was the icing on the
cake - providing the inflationtargeting Fed with plenty of
leeway to experiment with
unconventional policies while
avoiding adverse interest-rate
consequences in the inflationsensitive bond market.
Todays Fed inherits the
deeply entrenched moral hazard
of theAsset Economy. In carefully
crafted, highly conditional
language, it is signaling much
greater gradualism relative to
its normalisation strategy of a
decade ago. The debate in the
markets is whether there will

be two or three rate hikes of 25


basis points per year - suggesting
that it could take as long as four
years to return the federal funds
rate to a 3 percent norm.
But, as the experience of
2004-2007 revealed, the excess
liquidity spawned by gradual
normalization leaves financial
markets predisposed to excesses
and accidents. With prospects
for a much longer normalisation,
those risks are all the more
worrisome. Early warning
signs of troubles in high-yield
markets, emerging-market
debt, and eurozone interestrate derivatives markets are
particularly worrisome in this
regard.
The longer the Fed remains
trapped in this mindset, the
tougher its dilemma becomes
- and the greater the systemic
risks in financial markets and the
asset-dependent US economy. It
will take a fiercely independent
central bank to wean the real
economy from the markets. A
Fed caught up in the political
economy of the growth debate
is incapable of performing that
function.
Only by shortening the
normalisation timeline can the
Fed hope to reduce the build-up
of systemic risks. The sooner
the Fed takes on the markets,
the less likely the markets will
be to take on the economy. Yes,
a steeper normalisation path
would produce an outcry. But
that would be far preferable to
another devastating crisis.
The author is a faculty
member at Yale University and
former Chairman of Morgan
Stanley Asia

What
What the
the Lao
Lao papers
papers say
say
Frozen northerners
in need of help
Translated by Patithin Phetmeuangphuan

Since temperatures plunged on Sunday, everyone in the


country has been shivering. In some places the mercury
dipped to just 5 degrees Celsius, mostly in Phongsaly,
Huaphan, Xieng Khuang and Xaysomboun provinces, with
some areas even getting a sprinkling of snow. Such low
temperatures are very unusual in Laos and some livestock
have died as a result. Fortunately there have been no reports
of any people dying because of the cold.
Earlier in the winter the Ministry of Labour and
Social Welfare teamed up with local authorities to help
communities affected by the wintry weather, distributing
clothing, food and medicines.
The Governor of Huaphan asked the provincial office
to donate items to impoverished households with the help
of state enterprises, entertainment venues, international
organisations and foreign businessmen working in Xamneua
district. They donated almost 20 million kip, 300 blankets
and other essentials.
But more assistance is needed and the general public
is being asked to help the people of Huaphan and other
provinces.
--Lao Phatthana Daily, January 27

Lets get serious about


tackling corruption this year
Compared to previous years, Laos has greatly improved
in terms of political and economic stability, while people
are living in peace and enjoying better living conditions.
But alongside this growth in prosperity, public
complaints about corruption are growing. These days
it seems that everyone has to hand over extra money to
undertake a project of any kind, including bidders on
construction projects. If they dont give money to the
right person, they wont stand a chance of their bid being
successful.
And getting an office job can be out of the question if
you dont offer money to a high-level employee, because
you will be the last person to be considered when it comes
to making a job offer.
Getting on to more serious issues, some authorities
pocket taxes and customs duty payments, depriving the
government of much-needed funds for public expenditure.
Traffic police are also on the make and will fine drivers
for petty infringements if they dont hand over some money
for a drink.
These issues have annoyed people for many years,
so this year we should make a concerted effort to tackle
these problems so that Laos follows a healthy path to
development.
--Pathetlao Daily, January 27

Causes of Vientianes
traffic jams
Many roads in Vientiane now are now very congested and
drivers are really fed up with the situation. We believe that
three factors in particular are behind this chronic problem.
Firstly, most drivers have never been taught the rules
of the road. Some do know the rules but cant be bothered
to comply with them.
Second, the control and organisation of roads is
inadequate. The authorities do not enforce the traffic
regulations, which leads to traffic jams and the late arrival
of trucks and other vehicles that transport products. Another
problem is that government employees, office workers and
students are all using the roads at the same time, so the rush
hour commute is dreadful.
Lastly, the roads themselves are partly to blame. Many
are too narrow to carry todays volume of traffic. Some
streets are full of potholes or lined with dust on both sides,
meaning drivers are left with a limited amount of usable
road. In addition, many office buildings and entertainment
venues have no parking area, so vehicles are forced to
park on the road, which reduces the width and creates
bottlenecks.
--Vientiane Mai Daily, January 27

Vientiane Times

Thursday January 28, 2016

19

Arts & Leisure

Alexandra to perform at Asean concert in Thailand


Sisouphan Amphonephong

ao superstar Alexandra
Bounxouei has been
selected to represent
Laos at an Asean
concert to be held in Thailand at
the end of this month.
The concert will take place
on January 31 at Benchasiri Park
on Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok,
and will feature an array of artists
from Asean countries.
Alexandra said she felt
privileged and happy to be the
only Lao artist to be selected to
perform at the event.
She will sing both Lao and
international numbers and said
this would be her first performance
of the year in a neighbouring
country. It was especially exciting
to perform in an Asean member
country like Thailand.
She plans to perform to
the best of her ability and is
hoping to bring happiness and
an entertaining atmosphere to
the audience.
Alexandra will leave Laos on
Saturday to join the other Asean
artists who are also performing.
She will bring various styles of

songs to her performance, such


as her track My Radio, as
well as songs that she has sung
at previous Asean events.
The public can enjoy a violin
performance and other music and
song experiences at the concert,
which is to be held in a centrally
located park in Bangkok.
Alexandra said she has
a large fan club in Thailand
after she was invited to sing on
many entertainment television
programmes. She also acted
in a Thai drama that was well
received by Thai audiences.
This concert will be a good
opportunity for her to meet her
Thai fan club again, and it is sure
to spread happiness and promote
Lao songs and culture to her fans.
She said she still loves her
Thai fans and expects them to
attend the concert.
Alexandra has not yet
planned to release a new track.
Currently, she is focussing on
going to events and concerts as
well as preparing to perform on
a television programme.
She urges fans following
her work to keep an eye out for
images from the Asean concert.

Chris Rock continues to serve


hosting duties for Oscars

A poster to promote the Asean concert.

Alexandra said she loves


working in the industry and will
continue to create colourful Lao
entertainment.
Alexandra also owns the
IT Infrastructure Development
Office in Nongbone village,
Xaysettha distict, Vientiane,

which opened this year.


She is hoping to start the
Alexandra Foundation, a charity
to help people with Down
syndrome, but is still looking for
sponsors to provide donations
towards the foundations
management.

Alexandra is sure to shine at the concert.

Chinese singing contest promotes friendly ties

Chris
Rock
on the
poster
of this
years
Oscar
Awards.
A contestant shows his singing
skills on stage during the contest.

Sisouphan Amphonephong

CHINA (China Daily, ANN) -- American actor and comedian


Chris Rock will not drop out of hosting for the Oscars, as
Academy Awards producer mentions he is now working hard
on a whole new script.
The producer also told Entertainment Tonight that Chris
Rock, who often addresses issues of race in his movies and
stand-up, may deliver some OscarSoWhite jokes during the
ceremony.
He adds that the Oscars are ready and excited for the
comedian to do that, because thats what the public wants to
see in the show.
Rock has earlier joked about the rising Oscar race issue,
due to all 20 artists up for prizes being white, and only one
non-white person, Mexican director Alejandro Inarritu, earning
a best director nomination.
This has caused celebrities to pull out of this years show,
and Tyrese Gibson even encouraged Rock to withdraw from
hosting duties.
However, most people believe Rock is the best person to
address the controversy.
The 88th Annual Academy Awards will kick off at 8:30 pm
Eastern Time on February 28.

The Chinese Consulate and the


Chinese Peoples Association in
Luang Prabang province have
joined forces to provide the first
Chinese Singing Contest to
promote friendly relations and
celebrate the 55th anniversary
of diplomatic relations between
Laos and China.
The contest was held on
Thursday last week at Sinhua
School in Luang Prabang
province, opening the opportunity
for students and Chinese people
in Luang Prabang to join the
contest and celebrate this special
occasion.
Chinese Consulate
representative Mr Li Bao Guang,
an official from the Education and

Chinese officials and contestants pose with their certificates after completing the contest.

Sports Office in Luang prabang,


Mr Thongvan Sisouphan, officials
from the Chinese Association,
students, their parents, and other
residents of Luang Prabang joined
the event.
The contest was divided
into three categories, featuring
competitions for primary school
students, teachers and members
of the general public, and a
special category. It offered
the chance for contestants of
different ages to show their skills
and talent for singing Chinese
songs and create an entertaining
atmosphere.
The contests final round
announced Ms Sounida as the
winner for the student level
competition while Ms Phetmany

took out the teachers and


members of the general public
category and Mr Inthaphone won
the special category.
Chinese Consulate
representative Mr Li Bao
Guang said at the launch that
the Chinese singing contest
was held for the first time to
celebrate the 55th anniversary
of diplomatic relations between
Laos and China as well as to
promote the friendly relations of
the two countries.
He was confident that
students and residents would use
their skills and knowledge of the
Chinese language well during the
contest and contribute to building
friendly relations between Laos
and China.

Mr Li said the cooperation


and relations between Laos and
China has been strengthened to
promote the special relations
of the two countries. The
cooperation in the area of
satellite technology and the high
speed train would contribute
significantly to the development
of Laos, he added.
Mr Li was confident that the
economies of the two countries
could grow together.
At the conclusion of the
contest, the first place winners
each received 600,000 kip while
the second placed contestants
received 300,000 kip and the
third place getters150,000 kip.
Congratulatory prizes worth
100,000 kip were also awarded.

Boys werent interested in me till I was 18: Sunny Leone


NEW DELHI (The Statesman, ANN) -- Actress Sunny Leone
says she was a geek while growing up and so, boys werent
really attracted to her until she was 18 years old.
I was a very academic student in college, but until college,
I was an average student. But I knew business and I was fond
of marketing, and all kind of geeky stuff. I was a nerd in my
teenage years and didnt have a lot of friends.
I also knew how to edit videos, do photoshop and lot of
other things that a lot of 18 or 19-year olds dont do... No boy

was interested in me until I was 18, Sunny said in a statement.


The actress, who is currently awaiting the release of her
forthcoming sex comedy movie Mastizaade, opened about her
past in Zoom TVs show Yaar Mera Superstar.
Before Sunny forayed into Bollywood, she was popular as
an Indo-Canadian porn star.
She was recently in news following an interview with a news
channel where an anchor posed questions regarding her life as
a porn star.

20

Thursday January 28, 2016

Classified
Partnership
Announcement

Persons interested in being partners


in educational business development
investment with insured incomes for
your investment and already expanded
business building and facilities, kindly
contact number 020-91833335 or e-mail:
inthanin_school@yahoo.com

/:
:

. .
.
020 91833335

: inthanin_school@yahoo.
com

APARTMENT FOR RENT

In the centre of Vientiane


Fully furnished 1 bedroom, Living
room, Kitchen, Housekeeping,
Laundry, Cable TV and Wi-Fi
Call: 020 55505840, 020 77495533
Email: lao.heritage@gmail.com

SERVICED APARTMENTS
Spacious & tastefully decorated
Fully furnished 1 & 2 bedroom
Air-conditioning, Cable TV, Swimming pool,
Garden, Housekeeping, Laundry
MP: 020 55505840, 020 55023782
Email: lao.heritage@gmail.com

HOTEL LAO
*Value *Comfort *Service
In the heart of Vientiane
Ideal for business or tourist
43/7 Hengboun Road,Vientiane
Tel: (856 21) 219280-1, Fax: (856 21) 219282
Email: hotellao.vientiane@gmail.com

Vientiane Times

Vientiane Times

Thursday January 28, 2016

VPS

Car rental service


We have many types of cars for rent new


model and old, sedan & 4 wheel such as:
MG.TOYOTA. NISSAN. KIA. HYUNDAI,

SMALL AND MIDDLE SEDAN FOR CITY

AGL assurances Allianz Group


Short term 1-7days & long 1-12 months
Self drive or with driver
Provide vehicle for Project & Private
Affordable price and best service
Office B. Thonkang, R. sokpalaung 15/279
For English call Mr. Chanh anytime
Tel: 020 55599900. 55593013,
office: 030 9800630
Email: vpscarrental@yahoo.com
www.vpscarrental.com

Laoland Company is a long established and leading real estate


service agency based in Vientiane. With our experience in
serving customers of all nationalities, and our knowledge of the
local property market, we are confident that we will be able to
understand and meet your requirements. Property inspection
visits provided.
We speak English, French, Japanese and Chinese.
For further details, please feel free to contact us
At 020 5551 0155, 2366 6333, 2826 4781, 021 453 919
For Advertisement, Please call Ms Tou 021 453 919, 020 5654
5155
Email: Laoland.realestate@gmail.com
oad.laoland@gmail.com,
khone.laoland@gmail.com
Website: www.laoland.com

AB Apartment
Serviced Apartment Fully
furnished
Ban Sibounheuang,
Chanthaboury Dist.
Mob: +856-20-55512828
Phone: (+856-21) 222565 Fax:
263253
Email: abapart@gmail.com
www.abapartment.com

RentsBuy Co., Ltd is a leading professional real estate


company offering;house, land, apartment, office,
warehouse, business for rent /for sale and
property valuation throughout Lao PDR.
Dongpainar Rd., Ban Phontan, Saysetta
District,Sisattanak, Vientiane
Office mobile: 021 262319/20, 020 23333347,
77600059
www.RentsBuy.com email: rentsbuy@gmail.com

Classified 21

22

Vientiane Times

Thursday January 28, 2016

Whats On
Lao Food Festival
The Lao Womens Union and Lao
Businesswomens Association are
holding the 11th Lao Food Festival
in Vientiane. Everyone is invited to
come along and sample traditional Lao
cuisine.
Where: Chao Anouvong Park.
When: January 28-30. Opening
ceremony at 9am.

Vat Phou Champassak Festival

Puppet exhibition
This exhibition showcases a range of
puppet making and visual images created
by the Director of the Object Theatre
Kabong Lao, Mr Leuthmany Insisiengmay.
When: Open daily until March 3
Where: i:Cat gallery, Simeuang village,
Setthathirath Road, Vientiane
Gallery open: 3.30pm-8pm Mon to Fri; 12
noon-6pm Sat & Sun
Call 020 7783 9674

Sikhottabong Stupa Festival


Khammuan residents will celebrate the
annual Sikhottabong Stupa Festival in honour
of the revered religious structure, when
locally-made products will be on sale.
When: February 20-22
Where: Khammuan province

Global citizenship programme


Champassak province will celebrate the 15th anniversary of Vat Phou
and its associated ancient settlements being listed as a UNESCO World
Heritage Site.
When: February 20, 21, 22
Where: Vat Phou, Champassak province

Lao-Thai concert
A concert this week as part of
the Lao Federation of Trade
Unions Fair will feature Thai
singer Maithai and Lao singer
Poukky Ngernlan.
Where: Lao-ITECC.
When: January 28, 7pm, free
entrance.

First International Half


Marathon in Vientiane
Social enterprise Events for Good (EFG) will host the first
international half marathon in Laos to mark International Womens
Day. EFG invites participants to join either the 21km, 10km, or 5km
runs. The event will start and finish at the That Luang stupa. Every
participant who crosses the finish line within the allotted time will
receive a medal and certificate. Trophies and cash prizes will be
provided to the top 5 male and top 5 female runners of the half
marathon and quarter marathon. A Health and Fitness Expo will also
be held before and during the event. Check Facebook event page for
further details.
When: Sunday, March 6, 2016; 5am 8am.
Health and Fitness Expo Time: Friday, March 4, 10am7pm and
Saturday, March 5; 10am7pm.
Media event organisers should contact Vanpheng Southichak or
Thouni Seneyakone about sponsorship opportunities. Ask about
customised sponsorship packages, including on-site display
opportunities, guidebook advertisements, and in-kind donations.
Vanpheng Southichak Managing Director +856 (0) 20 5588 8688
vanpheng@gmail.com
Thouni Seneyakone Operations Manager +856 (0) 20 - 9144 8858
seneyakone@gmail.com

Lao Fashion Week

Come along to Lao


Fashion Week to learn
about developments
in the industry and
meet the new brand
ambassadors.
When: January 29
Where: Vientiane
Centre
For more information
contact: 020-55526629

Actors and actresses wanted


Kheo Heng (KH) company is inviting good-looking young people to
apply for two male and two female lead roles in the romantic comedy
film Hong Ham Tao. Female applicants should be 18-26 years old
and males should be aged 20-28
When: Applications until February 28
Where: Contact through Facebook at Inbox only, www.facebook.com/
phoumsana.sirivongsa
or Search in facebook: Jear Pacific

Japanese organisation GiFT,


in collaboration with Green
Discovery and FM 90.0 Mhz, is
inviting university students aged
18-24 to apply for the Diversity
Voyage in Laos programme,
a 6 day event with Japanese
students. Expenses will be paid
by the programme.
When: From February 20-25.
Applications accepted until January 29
Where: Contact Bounheng (programme coordinator) on 020 55400099.
Or visit the following link:
http://www.laoyouth-radio.com/2016/01/diversity-voyage-2016.html

Free treatment
Interplast Australia and New Zealand
plastic and reconstructive surgical team
will visit Mahosot Hospital for treatment
of cleft lip and palate burns.
When: Consultation clinic February 8
Surgeries performed February 9-18
Where: Mahosot Hospital, Vientiane
Call for information 020 5560 9415 Dr
Vanpheng Norasingh

Arts Festival
Vientiane Performing Arts Festival
When: January 29-31, 5pm-9pm
Where: National Culture Hall
Entry free.
For more information see
facebook.com/Khao Niew Lao

Charity Football Match


There will be a
Charity Football
Match between
the Lao Premier
Leagues
Allstars and Thai
champions Buriram
United
When: January 31,
6:30pm
Where: National
Stadium, Km 16. The match will be televised on TV Lao channel and
3SD Thai channel.

The Vientiane Times welcomes notices from


members of the public for announcement on
this page. Any events or functions open to
the general public are suitable for publishing.
Contact: editor@vientianetimes.la

Vientiane Trail 2016


Come along and enjoy the Vientiane
Trail 2016, when the capitals old
quarter will be transformed into a
pedestrian zone with night time
illuminations, and art and handicraft
events.
Where: Chao Anou Street to
Francois Ngin Street.
When: February 26-28, open from
5-9pm each night.

Meditation course
Sincere persons are invited to
attend a morality and meditation
training course.
When: January 25-31, with an
almsgiving ceremony on the last
day.
Where: Vat Pa Siritray Yalam,
Layao-tay village, Samakhixay
district, Attapeu province
For more information call: 030 4826 131, 020 5897 7769

Elephant Festival
This years Elephant
Festival will feature 67
elephants taking part
in activities including
a beauty contest,
bathing and baci
ceremony. There will
also be a large and
vibrant street fair.
When: February
19-21
Where: Xayaboury
district, Xayaboury
province

Trade Union
Trade Fair
There will be a special
trade fair to mark the 60th
anniversary of the Lao
Federation of Trade Union.
When: January 23
February 3
Where: Lao-ITECC

Painting exhibition
Paintings by
Lao artist Ebbe
Soukhaseum
Chanthapanya, who
lives in London,
will be exhibited in
Vientiane.
When: Three
weeks, starting
from January 26.
Opening ceremony at 6:30pm.
Where: Maison de la Culture de Ban Naxay, in Xaysettha district.

Toyota Painting Contest


The Toyota Dream Car Art Contest 2016 is open to children, with the
theme Toyota in My Dream
The painting contest is divided into three age groups: Under 8; Ages
8-11; and Ages 12-15.
When: Submit your painting anytime from December 16 February
15, 2016
Where: For details, contact Toyota company offices nationwide
on: 021 453801-2, 041 260882-4, 071 214111, 031 251400 or any
Education and Sports Department.

Warm for Winter appeal


The Lao Red Cross asks everyone to help people living in northern
Laos keep warm this winter. Please donate clean blankets, warm
clothing, towels, shoes, gloves and socks to our Warm for Winter
Appeal 2015.
Where: Lao Red Cross
When: Normal working hours
For more information: 021 253 014, Facebook/LaoRedCrossSociety
Thank you so much for your generosity!

Vientiane Times

Thursday January 28, 2016

Oosthuizen, Grace look to


maintain South African domination

Branden Grace of South Africa tees off at the 11th hole during the
second round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in Abu
Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Friday.
--Photo AP

(AP) -- South Africans have


won three of the five European
Tour events in the 2016 season,
and two more of the countrys
players seem strong candidates
for a victory at the Qatar
Masters.
Former Open champion
Louis Oosthuizen tees up for
the first time in 2016 after a
seven-week break and will
look to continue his remarkable
record of results in the opening
event of a calendar year.
In 2011 and 2012, he
won the Africa Open and had
consecutive victories in the
Volvo Golf Champions in 2013

and 2014. Last year, when


injury prevented him from
starting his campaign until
March, he placed sixth in the
WGC-Cadillac Championship.
After a good break, you
want to go back out on the golf
course again, said Oosthuizen,
who played the Nedbank Golf
Challenge in early December
and didnt pick up his clubs
again until last week. I think a
lot of times with the schedules
we have these days you lose
that a bit, to be hungry again
just to go out and play. I got a
bit of that back again.
Branden Grace is the

defending champion in Doha


and showed his form last week
with a fifth-place finish
tying with top-ranked Jordan
Spieth in a strong field at
the Abu Dhabi Championship.
The No. 11-ranked Grace could
break into the worlds top
10 for the first time after this
week.
Its something you dream
about as a young player,
being in the worlds top 10,
so it would be huge for me to
achieve that, said Grace, who
finished in the top four in two
majors in 2015. My career has
excelled ever since (winning in
Qatar last year). It really put me
back on the map again and its
a week Ill never forget.
Charl Schwartzel, Brandon
Stone and Haydn Porteous are
the South African winners so
far this season, all in events on
home soil.
Grace is attempting to
become the first player to win
back-to-back titles at Doha
Golf Club.
Many of European golfs
top names such as Rory
McIlroy, Martin Kaymer and
Henrik Stenson started their
2016 campaign in Abu Dhabi
last week but Sergio Garcia
prefers to begin his in Qatar.
It will be the 36-year-old
Spaniards 11th appearance there
he won in 2014 and has had
five other top-10 finishes. Garcia
said the course suits him.

SHIJIAZHUANG, China (Xinhua) -- Chinas


Hebei Province, which will co-host the 2022
Winter Olympics, has unveiled its plan for an
anticipated winter sports boom in the next seven
years, local media reported Tuesday.
Beijing, together with Zhangjiakou in Hebei
province, won the bid to co-host the 2002 Winter
Olympics in July 2015.
Hebeis winter sports development plan
(2015-2022) requires each big city in the
province to build at least one qualified ice and
snow sports venue by 2022 with barrier-free
access for the handicapped.
The province will train more winter sports
competitors, aiming to have home-grown players
compete in the Olympic Games.

Lowry scores 29 to lead Raptors


to 106-89 win over Wizards

Toronto Raptors Kyle Lowry shoots between Washington Wizards John Wall (left) and Gary Neal during
the first half of an NBA basketball game on Tuesday.
--Photo AP

TORONTO (AP) -- Kyle Lowry


had a vintage performance
in the Toronto Raptors ninth
straight victory but the focus
was on the All-Star starters
injured left wrist.
Lowry had 29 points when,
with about four minutes left
in the game Tuesday night,
he caught his left wrist on a
Wizards player setting a screen.
He quickly left the floor and
went up the tunnel toward the
Toronto locker room before
coming back to the bench
briefly and then, finally, being
led away again by the training
staff back under the stands.
The Raptors would go on
to win 106-89 win over the
Washington Wizards, tying a
franchise-best for consecutive
victories. The Raptors tweeted
shortly after the game that the
Zhangjiakou and Chengde will develop X-ray on his wrist was negative.
themselves into ice sport training centers with
I really thought it was
expansion of a ski training base in Chongli,
Zhangjiakou, which will host the cross-country,
freestyle and some other skiing events at the
2022 Olympics.
From 2016, Hebei province will spend 50
million yuan (7.6 million US dollars) annually on
training management and service staff. By 2022,
more than 50 schools in the province will have
winter sports programs. The number of people
who participate in winter sports regularly in Hebei
is expected to reach 30 million, 40 percent of the
provinces population. The ice and snow sports
industry in Hebei will reach 100 billion yuan (15.2
billion dollars) by that time.

2022 Winter Olympic co-host


eyes winter sports boom

Sports 23

worse than it was but Im fine,


said Lowry.
Jonas Valanciunas had 13
points and 12 rebounds for the
Raptors while DeMar DeRozan
had 17 points and Terrence Ross
added 15 points off the bench.
The Raptors tied the franchisehigh nine consecutive wins they
set in 2002 when Vince Carter
was their star.
Lowry said despite their
streak, the Raptors are simply
focusing on their next opponent.
Let everybody else enjoy
it, Lowry said. Well enjoy
it later.
John Wall led the way for the
Wizards with 18 points and 14
assists. Otto Porter Jr. added 15
points and eight rebounds and
Gary Neal chipped in 14 points
off the bench for Washington,
which has lost two straight and
four of the last five.
Were struggling with

consistency right now, said


Neal. We were down in the
first half and came back, made
a run, but we never put a run on
somebody else and make them
call a timeout.
The Wizards cut the Raptors
lead to five points three minutes
into the final quarter.
But the Raptors ran off nine
straight points, which were
punctuated by Lowrys fifth 3 of
the night, to stretch the lead to
88-74 with seven minutes to go.
Our defence is terrible
right now, probably the worst
in the league, Wall said. Until
we start playing defense, were
not going to win games.
Wizards coach Randy
Wittman said he thought the
difference was giving Toronto
too many second and third
opportunities in the second
half and not being aggressive
enough.

Balotelli penalty helps AC Milan


to win in Italian Cup semis

Cuban taekwondo filled


with hope ahead of Rio 2016
HAVANA (Xinhua) -- The
President of Cubas taekwondo
federation, Carlos Banasco, said
Tuesday that Cuban taekwondo
is having its best moments.
Cuban taekwondo is living
its best moments, due to a great
job by coaches at all levels,
and due to general discipline,
including compliance with the
strict preparation programme
for athletes, said Banasco,
cited by the official daily
Granma.
The islands taekwondo
champions have not secured their
places for the 2016 Rio Olympics
yet they hope to do it in March
during a major tournament in
Aguascalientes, Mexico.

The sports official remarked


that, due to a lack of funds,
Cuban taekwondo players only
attend mandatory events, such
as the Pan American Games
and the World Championships.
Taekwondo schools and
domestic competitions provide
opportunities for Cuban players
to gain experience and spot in
the national squad.
Without high level matches
we can not be as good as we
are, said Banasco.
The islands main hopes
in Rio rest with Rafael Alba
(87kg) and the returning
Glenhis Hernandez (67kg), a
former world champion who
was banned for a year for giving

the middle finger to Mexicos


Maria Rosario Espinoza during
the Centro-American Games
Veracruz 2014.
Cuba is the only member
c o u n t r y o f t h e Wo r l d
Taekwondo Federation (WTF)
not having South Korean
coaches. However, that fact and
a low budget have not impeded
the islands representatives
from becoming Pan American
champions and Olympic
medalists since Sydney 2000.
We believe that the
preparation programme of
Cuban taekwondo is magnificent
and with little international
experience, we have achieved
great results.

AC Milans Mario Balotelli (right) scores on a penalty kick during the Italian Cup first-leg, semifinal match
between Alessandria and AC Milan, at the Turin Olympic stadium, Italy on Tuesday.
--Photo AP

TURIN, Italy (AP) -- Mario Balotelli converted


a first-half penalty and AC Milan beat thirddivision Alessandria 1-0 in the opening leg of
the Italian Cup semifinals on Tuesday.
Getting his first start after several months
out with an injured pelvis, Balotelli calmly
scored from the spot shortly before halftime
after Luca Antonelli was fouled inside the area
as he slalomed between defenders.
As usual, Balotelli did not celebrate.
A few minutes earlier, Balotelli wasted
a great chance after being set up by Keisuke
Honda with only the goalkeeper to beat.

Milan substitute MBaye Niang, who


replaced Balotelli midway through the second
half, hit the post near the end.
The match was at Turins Stadio Olimpico
because the stadium in Alessandria, outside
Turin, wasnt big enough.
Its the first time a third-division club has
reached the last four since Bari 32 years ago.
Alessandria eliminated Serie A clubs Palermo
and Genoa.
Juventus hosts Inter Milan in the other
semifinal on Wednesday. The return legs are
scheduled for March 1, 2 or 3.

Thursday
January 28, 2016
24

Vientiane Times

Sports

NUOL athletes to
join training camp
ahead of games

Sangkhomsay
Bubphanouvong

thletes from host


National University
of Laos (NUOL)
will attend a training
camp next month in preparation
for the 1st Lao National
University Games in Vientiane
from March 5-15.
C u r r e n t l y, N U O L
competitors have been training
at various venues as many are
studying at different faculties.
The 1st university games will
comprise football, badminton,
table tennis, basketball, futsal,
petanque, taekwondo, volleyball
and beach volleyball, basketball,
plus track and field events.
The NUOL women

volleyballers are one of the teams


set to join the camp in February
after training since October at
Phonesavanh Secondary School
each day after lectures.
The NUOL teams head
coach is the experienced Mr
Inthaphone Chengsavang who
was previously head coach of the
Lao national womens volleyball
team.
Mr Inthaphone also led
the Vientiane womens team
at the 9th National Games in
Luang Prabang province in
2011 where they won silver.
The NUOL women competed
at the 3rd Minister of Education
and Sports Cup in Vientiane in
November but were unable to
get past the first round.
The Army and Police

Volleyball action at the 3rd Minister of Education and Sports Cup in Vientiane late last year.

womens volleyball teams will


be the strongest opponents at the
1st university games this year.
Our team may lack experience at
this level with many new players
but well try to do our best on

Liverpool beats Stoke on penalties,


reaches League Cup final

Liverpools Lucas Leiva (right) competes for the ball with Stokes Bojan Krkic during the English League
Cup semifinal second leg match between Liverpool and Stoke City at Anfield stadium in Liverpool,
England on Tuesday.
--Photo AP

LIVERPOOL, England (AP)


-- Juergen Klopp sat behind
a wall of Liverpool players
and coaching staff, using the
reaction of fans to gauge the
ebb and flow of the penalty
shootout.
In the end, the eruption
inside Anfield told him
everything he needed to know:
Liverpool was heading to
Wembley Stadium.
Liverpool beat Stoke
6-5 on penalties to reach the
English League Cup final
on Tuesday, ensuring Klopp
a shot at silverware in his
first season at Anfield. Joe
Allen was the match-winner
in the second leg, curling the
decisive spot kick into the top
right-hand corner not that
Klopp knew it.
The German coach didnt
see a single attempt in the
shootout. He just watched the
cheers and groans of the fans.
Usually I want to see
them, but then the first row in
the crowd cant see anything.
Im tall, you know, Klopp
said. So I said, Come on

then. I cant spend 15 minutes


on my knees ... I sat on a chair
and I saw nothing. Felt good,
only watching the crowd. In
the end, we won without me
watching.
Stoke won the match 1-0
after extra time thanks to
Marko Arnautovics goal in
first-half injury time, taking
the match to penalties at 1-1
on aggregate.
Both sides failed to convert
one of their first five penalties
Peter Crouch for Stoke and
Emre Can for Liverpool and
shootout went to sudden death.
Stoke defender Marc Muniesa
saw his effort saved by Simon
Mignolet, and Allen was given
an opportunity to win it that he
didnt waste. He was mobbed
by his teammates.
I was nervous, Allen
said. There was confusion
about who would take the
seventh penalty but I picked
the right corner.
Liverpool will play either
Everton its Merseyside
neighbour or Manchester
City in the Feb. 28 final at

Wembley. Everton leads 2-1


heading into the second leg on
Wednesday.
I hear it would be the
biggest thing but only if we
beat them, said Klopp, when
asked about the possibility of
an all-Merseyside final against
Everton. It would be a cool
thing.
Stoke won at Anfield after
90 minutes for the first time
since 1959 but the victory
proved in vain for the Midlands
club, which was looking to
reach its third final in this
competition.
I thought we were the
better team, the dominant
team, more likely to score,
Hughes said, but we arent
the ones going to Wembley.
Instead, that honor goes to
Liverpool, the most successful
team in League Cup history
with eight titles. Klopp will
be back at Wembley for the
first time since he led Borussia
Dortmund there in the allGerman Champions League
final in 2013, won by Bayern
Munich.

home soil and hopefully well


make it to the semi-final round,
Mr Inthaphone said.
We are presently waiting for
funding from the NUOL which
well use to buy some more

sporting equipment for the teams


training each day, he added.
The Army teams will
prove difficult to beat at the
university games having won
both the mens and womens

competitions at the recent 3rd


Minister of Education and
Sports Cup and took home
both gold medals at 2014s 10th
National Games in Oudomxay
province.

Kerber, Konta win on another


distracting day in Melbourne
MELBOURNE, Australia
(AP) -- Angelique Kerber and
Johanna Konta advanced to
the Australian Open semifinals
Wednesday on another day
when the integrity of tennis
was part of the tournament
conversation.
The first Grand Slam of the
season has been overshadowed
from the start by media reports
alleging that tennis authorities
had failed to thoroughly
investigate evidence of matchfixing.
On Wednesday, just as
Kerber began her 6-3, 7-5
win over two-time champion
Victoria Azarenka in the
quarterfinals, the governing
bodies of tennis announced
they will commission an
independent review of their
anti-corruption unit to restore
public confidence in our
sport.
In announcing the
review, ATP Chairman Chris
Kermode said the reports
had caused damage to the
sport, which compelled the
major stakeholders in tennis
the International Tennis
Federation, ATP and WTA
tours, and the four Grand
Slams to take quick action
to address the issue.
A BBC and Buzzfeed
News report which coincided
with the start of the Australian
Open alleged 16 players all
ranked at some stage in the
top 50 had been flagged
for being involved in matches
where suspicious betting
activity was detected. No
players were identified and no
specifics were published, and
many critics believed the data
was based on matches that had
already examined.
Philip Brook, chairman
of the Tennis Integrity Board,
said while the reports did not

Angelique Kerber of Germany hits a forehand return to Victoria


Azarenka of Belarus during their quarterfinal match at the Australian
Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia on Wednesday.
--Photo AP

reveal anything new, it was


widely written about and has
caused damage to our sport.
With that going on in
the background, Konta went
on court and beat Chinese
qualifier Zhang Shuai 6-4,
6-1 to become the first British
woman since 1983 to reach the
semifinals of a Grand Slam.
It will be Kontas first
semifinal at a Grand Slam, and
it ended Zhangs seven-match
winning streak, including three
in qualifying.
It will be my first match
against her (Kerber), Konta
said. Shes top 10. Shes
an incredibly decorated and
successful competitor and
player. Im just going to go
out there and bring to the court
what I can.
T h e T h e 2 7 - y e a r- o l d
Zhang entered the Australian

Open with a 0-14 record in


Grand Slam matches.
Zhang says her two weeks
in Melbourne should result
in a big rankings boost that
could help her get into the Rio
Olympics for China.
In my heart I feel like Ive
won this tournament because
Ive won seven matches,
Zhang said. It didnt matter
winning or losing today.
Kerber went down a
break in the second set before
winning five consecutive
games and saving five set
points before beating twotime champion Azarenka, the
result coming as a surprise
despite the difference in
seedings. No. 7 Kerber broke
No. 14 Azarenkas serve to
end the match, her first win
in seven matches against the
Belarussian.