“Enhancing Connectivity and Resilience” is theme of Laos’ Chairmanship in ASEAN 2024


VIENTIANE: “Enhancing Connectivity and Resilience” will be the theme of Laos’ Chairmanship in ASEAN 2024.

The theme aligns with Laos’ promise to build and achieve a more connected and resilient ASEAN.

Laos succeeded Indonesia as Chair of ASEAN, the international organization in Southeast Asia that has 10 member countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Indonesia’s Chairmanship in ASEAN was under the theme of “ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth”.

According to ASEAN, Laos’ Chairmanship period will focus further on the ASEAN community and creating opportunities in facing geopolitical and geo-economic challenges and changes.

Then, Laos will develop a regional architecture for stability, peace, and development in the ASEAN region.

As Chair of ASEAN 2024, Laos features many interesting facts:

Adhering to the Socialist Republican System

Laos officially became a member of ASEAN on July 23, 1997. Laos is a country in Southeast Asia that adheres to a one-party socialist republic system as a form of government.

It means the president is the head of state, while the prime minister governs the government. In 2024, it will be the third time for Laos to be Chair of ASEAN. Previously, Laos held the chairmanship of ASEAN in 2004 and 2016.

Country without Sea

Laos is the only country in Southeast Asia that does not have a sea. In other words, Laos only consists of land. It makes Laos nicknamed “Landlocked Country”.

Laos does not have a sea because of its position between five major countries: Cambodia, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Myanmar (Burma region), Thailand, and Vietnam. This is what makes Laos have no access to water at all.

Rapid Economic Growth

Even though it has no water and is landlocked, Laos is still one of the ASEAN member countries with rapid economic growth. According to CNBC Indonesia, Laos has the highest annual GDP growth among other countries in Southeast Asia.

Export Commodities

Another interesting fact about Laos can be seen from its export commodities. Laos exports agricultural, mining (including copper), gold, garments, electricity, and wood products. The leading importers of Laos commodities are Thailand, China, and Vietnam.

Nicknamed the “Country of a Million Elephants”

Laos is nicknamed the Land of a Million Elephants. This nickname comes from the country’s name, Laos, derived from the word “Lan Xang” (elephant). Interestingly, Lao people also consider elephants to be animals that bring prosperity.

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