Australia has conferred special bilateral awards on two Lao ministers at a Nov 27 dinner in Vientiane to help mark the 65th anniversary of Laos-Australia relations in 2017. Minister of Education and Sports Sengdeuane Lachanthaboune, and Minister of Industry and Commerce Khemmani Pholsena were presented the 65th anniversary awards to acknowledge their outstanding contributions to Laos-Australia relations in their respective fields.
In presenting the Awards, Australian Ambassador to the Lao PDR, Mr John Williams, said both Ministers had been excellent partners for Australia over many years, through their leadership, commitment and technical expertise in education and in trade and business climate reform.
Minister Sengdeuane, an alumni of Deakin University in Australia, has been working closely with us for 15years to help strengthen education outcomes for children across the Lao PDR, said Ambassador Williams.
Our current basic education programme, BEQUAL, is implementing a number of the ideas Mme Sengdeuane pioneered as the head of Teacher Education many years ago, said Ambassador Williams.
Madame Khemmani’s links with Australia and our international trade experts in particular, were built up through our close collaboration in support of the Lao PDR’s bid for membership of the World Trade Organisation. The energy and drive the Minister demonstrated at that time to secure that important benchmark for Laos has been a feature of our ongoing partnership in support of Laos’s trade and business climate reform agenda, and helping Australian companies navigate the Lao market, said the Ambassador.
We hope by conferring these awards on a select few, we are also honoring the contributions of many individuals and groups to the substantial, productive ties our two countries enjoy today.
The special awards dinner was attended by more than 80 guests from government, business community, civil society and the media.
Laos’ relationship with Australia is the country’s longest unbroken diplomatic relationship at Ambassador level. Australia continues to be one of Laos’ main development partners, with support focusing on education and human resource development, trade and business reform, rural development and agriculture, and natural resource management.
Quality Australian business investments, most notably in mining and mining services, have had a significant impact on the Lao PDR’s fast economic growth of the past two decades.
Source: Lao News Agency