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The Future of Asia 2012

Laotian Deputy PM Urges Japan To Invest More In Laos

Thursday, May 23, 2013

TOKYO (NQN)--Visiting Laotian deputy prime minister called on Japan to increase official development assistance and investment in the Southeast Asia country at a Tokyo conference sponsored by Nikkei Inc. on Thursday.

Speaking at the 19th International Conference on The Future of Asia, Thongloun Sisoulith, who also doubles as Minister of Foreign Affairs, said that Laos' efforts to cooperate within the framework of the 10-member regional Association of Southeast Asian Nations have helped the country achieve rapid economic growth.

"Asia is rich in natural resources and accounts for roughly half of the world population," he said. That will likely brighten growth prospects for the region, he added.

Thongloun stressed the need for Asian countries to address issues, such as growing income disparities, high export dependence on areas outside the region and frequent occurrence of natural disasters.

On global challenges, he expressed concerns, such as nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, greenhouse emission controls, economic crises and food and energy security, urging China, Japan and India to "play a more pivotal role."

Titles of speakers, names of companies, etc., were correct as of the time when the forum was held.