By Baron Henri Estramant.
London has join Brussels and Berlin in hosting embassies of all ASEAN member states.
After a hiatus of 29 years, the Embassy of the Lao Democratic People’s Republic was reopened in London by Laotian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Thongloun Sisoulith and UK’s Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, The Rt. Hon. Hugo Swire (responsible for India, the Far East, Latin America and the Falklands, as well as Australasia).
This reopening represents an important milestone in the strengthening of UK and Europe’s ties with Laos, but also with the rest of South East Asia; one of the most dynamic and fast growing regions in the world. By 2030 the ASEAN economy as a whole is expected to be the fourth largest single market in the world. The inauguration of the ASEAN Economic Community at the end of 2015 will see economic barriers reduced further.
Laos remains one of the globe’s poorest countries yet it is beginning to attract European investments as well as tourists drawn by its pristine environment, historical sites, backpacking opportunities and low prices.
ASEAN comprises ten member states, namely: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viêt Nam.
The reopening ceremony was attended by HE Ambassador Manorom Phonseya (Benelux countries, EU, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland).