Photo by Dennis Sylvester Hurd via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Cambodia and Lao PDR Report Continuous Drop in COVID-19 Cases in April Amid Festivities

Cambodia and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic have reported a steady drop in average COVID-19 cases per day in April 2022, according to a report on “Vaccination Rates, Effectiveness, and Safety” by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). In Cambodia, the average COVID-19 cases per day dropped from 164 to 18.4, and deaths decreased from 1 to 0.06, marking a fall in case fatality rate from 0.43% to 0.35%. In Lao PDR, daily infection rates declined steadily, averaging at 986 for April 2022 from 1102 in March 2022, while average deaths per day plateaued between 1 to 3.

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Photo by Kaj17 via Flickr. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Guangxi Opens Ports for Cross-border Trade

The Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (GZAR) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has opened seven highway ports and one railway port for cross-border cargo with normalized customs clearance processes. Statistics from the GZAR’s Department of Commerce reported that 3,344 vehicles entered and exited through Guangxi’s border highway ports during the May Day holiday in 2022. The May Day holiday is one of the peak travel times in the country.   

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The Friendship bridge built with Australian funding and completed and opened in 1994, crossing the Mekong River and connecting Thailand to Laos. Photo by Jim Holmes / AusAID via Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)

Fifth Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge to Provide Shortest Route between Lao PDR, Thailand, and Viet Nam

The fifth friendship bridge between the Lao People‘s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) and Thailand is set to further enhance Lao PDR’s connectivity with its neighbors in the Greater Mekong Subregion. It will link Borikhamxay province (Lao PDR) to Bueng Kan province (Thailand), becoming a vital road link between Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. Spanning over 150km, it promises to be the shortest connecting link between the three countries and opens another regional trade and transit route. 

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Fisherwoman in Stung Sangke river, Battambang province. Photo by Eric Sales/ADB. 

Proposed ADB Project to Help Boost Cambodia’s Fisheries and Tourism Sectors

A proposed Asian Development Bank (ADB) project will help finance two standard ports that will boost the fisheries and tourism sectors of Cambodia’s Kep province.  

A report by the Khmer Times shared provincial officials and ADB are working to establish the ports’ locations, according to Mr. Vao Sokha, Kep Deputy Governor.  

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Night scene in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam. Taken in 2019. Photo by Gerhard Joren/ADB.

Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Viet Nam Consider Plans to Revitalize Tourism

Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Viet Nam (CLV) are looking to revitalize tourism in the CLV subregion, and held a meeting on 4 May to discuss implementing the Tourism Development Plan for the Development Triangle Region (2020-2025) and Vision 2030. The working group plans to promote tourism in the triangle region through exhibitions, videos, logos and brands, with a focus on digital advertising. 

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The crowds are sparse in the ordinarily busy district of Chinatown in SIngapore. Shop owners estimate that business has dropped by 50% due to the COVID-19 crisis. 2020 Lester Ledesma/ADB.

Southeast Asia Sustainable Tourism Hub Launched at SEADS 2022

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) launched the Southeast Asia Sustainable Tourism Hub on 17 March 2022 at the third Southeast Asia Development Symposium (SEADS).  

Southeast Asia’s tourism industry is still reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. To accelerate an inclusive and sustainable recovery, ADB is increasing its support for investments, capacity development, and knowledge.  

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Photo by Jacques Beaulieu/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Urban Management Platform Fosters Discussion on Urban Development in Vientiane

The Urban Management Platform of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) aims to tackle urban development policies and issues in Vientiane, such as land administration, investment in urban development, and revision of the transport master plan. The first meeting reviewed current land management practices. Government officials and JICA specialists attended, reported the Vientiane Times on 18 February 2022. 

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Lao PDR Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith and Cambodia Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn. Photo by Lao PDR Foreign Ministry

Electricity Trade Boosts Cambodia-Lao PDR Bilateral Trade

Electricity trade between Cambodia and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic raised the annual value of bilateral trade to more than $100 million in 2020 from a previous value of $10 million-$20 million. This was noted by Cambodia Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn and Lao Foreign Affairs Minister Saleumxay Kommasith in their meeting on 16 February. Mr. Kommasith was in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, from 15-17 February 2022 to attend the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat.  

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 A cruise ship in Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam. Photo by Bryan Lippincott (CC BY-ND 2.0)

ASEAN Tourism Ministers Make Plans to Gradually Reopen ASEAN Tourism    

The 25th Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers held on 19 January 2022 in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, exchanged views on the way forward for the recovery of the region’s tourism industry. Bearing the theme “ASEAN – A Community of Peace and Shared Future,” the Meeting discussed the impact of COVID-19 on each ASEAN member state and emphasized the development of the tourism sector amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. 

 

Decline in Tourist Growth 

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