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Laos: Seven Laws Approved in Principle

(Apr. 7, 2010) At the Lao Government's last monthly meeting, held March 29-31, 2010, seven legal documents were approved in principle. The documents are designed to support the country's socio-economic development and efforts to strengthen rule of law. The meeting was held at the office of Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh. All the documents will be further refined before final adoption. (Souksakhone Vaenkeo, Government Approves Seven Legal Documents, VIENTIANE TIMES, Apr. 2, 2010, available at

The documents include four draft decrees, covering converting state-owned buildings into capital, prices of products and services, the implementation of existing education laws, and pardons. In addition, the endorsed documents include a plan for labor development, a strategy for social welfare development, and a statistics law. (Id.)

The Cabinet also reviewed drafts of an amended law on taxation and of a law on consumer protection. Those two pieces of legislation were not yet endorsed; they will undergo further improvements and be reconsidered at the April monthly meeting. (Id.)

In addition to reviewing draft laws, the government officials at the meeting heard a report on the March visit of Lao President Coummaly Sayasone with Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and were directed to work on developing cooperative plans with Japan. (Id.)

Those in attendance at the meeting also received instructions on maintaining social order during the Lao New Year. The Ministries of Planning and Investment and of Finance were told to cooperate with relevant sectors of society in implementing development and budget plans for the first six months of the fiscal year. They were also asked to start preparations for such plans for the next fiscal year. A request was made to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to work on boosting crop yields in the dry season. (Id.)