Laos spending 240 billion kip on ASEM Summit just for 120 Mercedes Benz and 11 BMW !!
21.09.2012 - 17:41:00


Laos spending 240 billion kip on ASEM Summit !!

The government will spend about 240 billion kip on the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit, which includes the purchase of vehicles but not the construction of infrastructure.

Mr Phouphet Khamphounvong speaks to the media.

Minister of Finance and Head of the sub-committee responsible for financing and vehicle procurement, Mr Phouphet Khamphounvong, gave the information to the local press yesterday.

“Th is sum will be divided into two. Part will go towards the administrative costs of the various sub-committees responsible for organising the summit and the balance will be used to buy the vehicles needed to transport guests,” he said.

Mr Phouphet said all the necessary vehicles have been imported as planned, and some are now being used in trial runs of motorcades.

The government will have 120 Mercedes Benz and 11 BMW sedans to transport heads of state and government and high-ranking officials from Asia and Europe who will attend the summit in November.

Forty Mercedes Benz S350s have been bought, along with 65 Mercedes Benz E350s. Another 15 Mercedes Benz are also available, having been imported for previous international conferences.

The government has also bought 130 Toyota Camrys for use by high-level summit delegates.

Mr Phouphet said about 40 pe rcent or 96 billion kip of the total 240 billion kip will go towards vehicle procurement. The remainder will be used for administrative expenses, not including infrastructure construction and upgrade, which has been funded by other countries.

Laos has received funding and grant assistance from China, which provided a grant of 450 million yuan (about US$71 million), a soft loan of about US$37 million, and 10 buses and 4 motorcades.

In addition, Japan has provided 1.93 billion yen (about US$25 million) and US$3 million, while Vietnam has provided US$500,000 and some equipment.

Thailand has provided 190 million baht (about US$6 million) of which 30 percent is a grant and 70 percent a soft loan, and Brunei has given a grant of US$500,000.

The European Union (EU) provided a grant of US$400,000 for study tours so that Lao officials could learn about hosting such an event from European countries that had done so in the past. The EU has also provided help with the interpretation of six languages and three translators for each language.

Australia has provided assistance with English language, protocol, and translator training. Singapore is helping with preparations for Senior Officials' Meetings, manual writing, and audiovisual equipment. Pakistan has provided 10 sets of computers.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update September 18, 2012)