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Pres. Moon wraps up ASEAN tour in Laos with attempt to tighten relations with Mekong region Updated: 2019-09-05 12:29:39 KST

President Moon Jae-in completes his ASEAN tour with his final stop, Laos.
After visiting Thailand and Myanmar earlier this week, President Moon arrives in Laos on Thursday for a unprecedented visit by a South Korean leader.

Aug.29, 2019
"The trip to Laos between September 5 and September 6 is the first state visit by a South Korean president. We anticipate the two countries will strengthen cooperation in development, infrastructure, agriculture, and healthcare, while accelerating South Korea-Mekong cooperation by revealing our vision, in the country which contains the greatest length of the Mekong River.”

With a population of around 7-million, Laos has a GDP of 18-and-a-half billion U.S. dollars, as of 2018.
Dubbed 'the battery of Asia' for its abundant water resources from the Mekong River, Laos is attracting an increasing amount of foreign investment.
And its economy maintains an annual economic growth rate in the six percentage range.

President Moon will hold a summit with his counterpart Bounnhang Vorachith in the capital, Vientiane.
They're to discuss ways to tighten their bilateral relations, and to improve cooperation between Korea and ASEAN, and between Korea and the Mekong region.
And with Laos being a powerhouse for hydroelectric power, running 61 power plants and exporting 65 percent of its electricity to neighboring countries, the two sides are expected to seek stronger cooperation in that area.
They will also sign MOUs on agriculture, ICT, and startups.

And later in the day when Moon visits the Mekong River, he will lay out a more detailed vision for relations between Korea and the Mekong region.
That region includes countries like Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam.

"With his visit to Laos, President Moon will fulfill his promise of visiting all ten ASEAN nations within his term. And as Laos is a relatively niche market, President Moon seeks to increase Korea's presence in the country, particularly by tapping into the infrastructure industry along the Mekong River. Park Hee-jun, Arirang News, Yangon."
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