Dams & Debt put Laos on Thin Ice

©Luke Hunt
Fishermen ply the Mekong River in southern Laos. ©Luke Hunt

For almost a decade, Laos has been warned that its extravagant spending spree on infrastructure carried enormous financial risks that threatened to undermine its sovereignty and efforts to raise living standards among the poor.

Those warnings fell on deaf ears as Vientiane — hell-bent on becoming the “Battery of Asia” — borrowed heavily and built hydropower dams to sell electricity into neighboring countries, plus highways, bridges and railways.

It was an unfathomable wish list.

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About Webmaster 865 Articles
Luke Hunt is a foreign correspondent, author and occasional photographer who has covered much of Asia fr the last 30 years.

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