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Lao PDR

Germany has renewed its support for the Mekong River Commission’s (MRC) organisational goals for sustainable hydropower development and trans-boundary climate change adaptation.

Read more: Germany renews support for MRC

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The transport of goods between China, Thailand and Laos has been affected by the continually falling level of the Mekong, according to Bokeo provincial authorities on Thursday.

At present only small boats carrying about 50 tonnes or less can journey along the route between the Chinese border to Chiang Saen in Thailand and Bokeo province in Laos due to the low level of the Mekong, Southeast Asia's longest waterway.

The lowest levels recorded in the Mekong in half a century have also affected other downstream nations including Vietnam and Cambodia.

Lao officials say the extremely low water level this year is due to climate change and deforestation, as 35 percent of the water flowing into the Mekong comes from its tributaries.

Read more: Low Mekong affecting goods transport in north

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The European Union has agreed to help Laos with preparations for the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) next year – the largest event ever to be held in Laos with the leaders of more than 50 nations expected to attend.

Director for Asia of the European External Action Service Mr James Moran led a visit by an EU delegation to Laos on Friday, meeting with high-ranking government officials to discuss cooperation in the event.

These included Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Bounkeut Sangsomsak and Standing Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad.

Read more: EU pledges to help Laos host Asia-Europe Meeting

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