FAR EAST CORRESPONDENT — Laos’ reputation as an economic backwater and relic of the Cold War has been well earned. This year, however, the Lao government has sought to break free from the traditional communist stereotypes. Engaging the private sector and Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs), Vientiane sought to emulate a well-established model by focusing on big ticket infrastructure projects.
Applause and concern has followed in equal doses.
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