Mekong Memo Laos 20230920
Mekong Memo Laos Weekly, September 20, 2023: Business, politics, finance, trade & legal news.
We monitor and filter the very best and most insightful stories from Southeast Asia directly to your inbox every week.
By reviewing a wide variety of media including legal, financial and other relevant industries along with government and NGO sources, we are able to sift through the noise and bring you only what we believe to be relevant to an informed observer of Laos business news.
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With that said, here is your Mekong Memo Laos for the week of September 20, 2023:
World Bank's Eye-Opening Findings on Lao Inflation, Migration, & Education
The World Bank's ongoing Rapid Monitoring Phone Surveys in Laos reveal a grim economic landscape. Despite hopes for post-pandemic recovery, the country grapples with a 41% inflation rate and a 50% currency depreciation year-on-year. The surveys indicate that these economic challenges are affecting household living standards, employment, and even education. While some families are adapting by shifting to agricultural activities, others face reduced or stagnant incomes. The most vulnerable, including female-headed households, are hit hardest, with a decline in average income by 8%.
Read more: World Bank
Thailand & Laos Team Up to Woo Chinese Tourists
Thailand and Laos are ramping up tourism and infrastructure collaborations to attract more Chinese visitors. Officials recently to discuss tourism route connectivity and fast-tracking the construction of a second Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge in Pak Chom district. Thailand's recent free-visa policy for Chinese tourists has spurred Laos to develop its Muen border town in Vientiane. The move aims to facilitate smoother border crossings and extend Chinese tourist journeys from Thailand into Laos.