Laos in 2022: Development Challenges and Opportunities
Event: Thursday, June 23, 2022, Washington, DC
Located in the center of the Asia-Pacific region, Laos faces many challenges as one of Asia’s least developed economies and Southeast Asia’s only landlocked country. Its geographic location makes Laos extremely vulnerable to climate change and other environmental challenges. While Laos had success managing the early outbreak of Covid-19, the impacts of pandemic lockdowns and closures of businesses in 2021 have severely impacted the country’s fledgling economy, including its many agricultural and small enterprises. It is also true that over the past decade, Laos has greatly improved its education system, environmental policies, and infrastructure. The National Assembly has become increasingly active. On a regional level, Laos is an active member of ASEAN and recently participated in the U.S.-ASEAN Special Summit in Washington, DC.
On the heels of the Laos visit of U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, the highest-ranking official to visit the country since 2016, The Asia Foundation is pleased to present a discussion with Todd Wassel, our country representative in Laos. Todd will provide an update on the critical issues in Laos from his vantage point in Vientiane. He will also discuss recent initiatives to provide legal aid, advance women’s empowerment, and improve environmental management in the country.
Todd Wassel, Country Representative, Laos, The Asia Foundation
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