On this occasion, the French Ambassador Mme Siv-Leng Chhuor along with Health Minister Dr. Phoummalaysith and Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Phandanouvong unveiled the logo launching a series of events celebrating the 70th anniversary over the rest of 2023, including official visits, events dedicated to heritage, health, education, and investment, and an official reception around 22 October.
Ahead of Laos’s ASEAN presidency, France reaffirms its support as a genuine development partner of ASEAN and its member states, an organization at the heart of France’s Indo-Pacific strategy.
Over 2,000 French people are currently settled in Laos, enhancing the bilateral relationship between the two countries through their dynamism and integration.
As the Ambassador stated, “environmental and social responsibility is part of their DNA”, as for France’s cooperation projects in sustainable development, biodiversity, education and Francophonie, health, and heritage over the years.
“France is a great power of solidarity,” the Ambassador highlighted, by doubling food aid to EUR 1 million in 2023 and offering 600,000 vaccine doses to Laos during the Covid-19 pandemic. Health is a priority, and France is proud that Laos has joined the PREZODE (Preventing Zoonotic Disease Emergence) initiative, which will enable it to benefit from the EUR 3 million of AFD’s regional program.
Education stays a priority sector for France, and over the past ten years, it has invested EUR 5 million in education in Laos. Through the Lao-French bilingual schooling system, Laotian students are learning French as a language of the future, providing access to globalization and employment. Thanks to scholarships and partnerships with French universities, more Laotian students can study in France to acquire new skills, expanding the alumni network to around 5,000 people.
Cultural ties between the two countries are also growing stronger thanks to the Institut français, which offers rich and diverse cultural events promoting Laotian and French creativity. Every year, it organizes 100 events gathering people around cinema, music, visual arts, or debates.
Visit to Laos by a delegation from the France-Laos Friendship Group of the French National Assembly
Visit to Laos by a delegation from the France-Laos Friendship Group of the French National Assembly, led by its President, Bruno Millienne, accompanied by the Vice-President, Anthony Brosse, MP Nadège Abomangoli, MP Marc Le Fur and Karine Depincé, Administrator of the Assembly. The visit provided an opportunity to renew links with the national and provincial assemblies and to discuss prospects for bilateral cooperation, particularly in the areas of heritage protection, water and sanitation management and decentralised cooperation. Bilateral and decentralised cooperation projects in agriculture, sustainable tourism and training were also discussed.
This visit to Laos gave the French MPs the opportunity to visit numerous projects implemented by France and to meet the French community.
Official visit by the Senator for French Nationals Abroad
French Senator Samantha Cazebonne visited Laos at the end of September, where she met leading French and Laotian women, the staff, parents and students of the Lycée français international de Vientiane, and the French community at the back-to-school reception held by the French Embassy. Her discussions focused on the role and place of women, the teaching of French abroad, and the issues facing French people and their representatives in Laos.
Planting of a tree symbolising Franco-Lao friendship
To illustrate the strengthening of ties between Laos and France as part of the 70th anniversary of signing the treaty of friendship, the Mayor of Vientiane, the Ambassador of France and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs planted a "kayung" tree at Chao Anouvong Park, a Rosewood is known for its sturdiness, resistance and finesse, qualities that perfectly symbolize the spirit of the links that unite our two countries and our common desire to further root our relationship towards the future!
Debate on biodiversity - Festival France-Laos 2023
As part of the France-Laos Festival 2023, which is itself part of the celebrations marking 70 years of cooperation between Laos and France, the Institut Français organised an evening called "Nuit des idées" (Night of Ideas), the aim of which was to provide a basis for debate. This evening, the theme of the debate was biodiversity. The evening began with a screening of the documentary "Once upon a forest", directed by Jean-Luc Jacquet with the help of Francis Hallé, a French botanist and fervent defender of primary forests. The documentary was followed by a short film made by the IRD and the NGO Anoulak about their elephant study program. This was followed by a round table to launch a debate on biodiversity. The debate was led Sabrina Locatelli (IRD), Sivilay Duangmala (Wildlife Conservation Society) et Latdavanh Keodala (Zero Waste Laos) and moderated by Ms Chanmaly Panyaphone (Laos Cultural Creative Fund).