The National Trade Fair kicked off in Vientiane yesterday, boasting the largest number of product booths in its history as traders from every province in the country came in droves to celebrate Visit Laos Year 2012.

Some 879 private and state organisations from across the country, overseas business executives, international organisations and foreign embassies to Laos have set up hundreds of booths to showcase a wide range of domestic and imported products for the week-long trade fair, taking place at the That Luang Esplanade and Lao-ITECC.

Thammavong was on hand to cut a ribbon to open the fair, simultaneously kickstarting the Tourism Festival of the four central provinces of Vientiane, Borikhamxay, Khammuan, Savannakhet, and the capital Vientiane.

“This is the first time that all the provinces have participated in the fair,” said Vientiane Vice Mayor Saithong Keoduangdy.

Party and state leaders, representatives from the 16 provinces, the diplomatic corps, domestic and foreign business executives, and Vientiane residents turned out for the opening ceremony.

A number of activities have been prepared for the week-long event, including the traditional activities that make up the That Luang Festival, which takes place from November 26 to 28. These include the wax castle procession and the presenting of alms to more than 5,000 monks.

Products on display at the fair include handicrafts, household equipment, clothes, automobiles, souvenirs and decorative items.

Sixteen provinces have set up booths at the That Luang Esplanade, with displays depicting their development progress and local culture.

Given the high number of tourism-related products, Mr Saithong said the fair will promote the Lao tourism industry.

He highlighted the Tourism Festival, running from November 23 to 28, which explores ways to promote the ‘five provinces, one destination’ theme, which it is hoped will significantly boost tourist numbers in the area.

In addition, the fair provides a platform for traders and business operators from various sectors to exchange lessons learnt and discuss business opportunities.

“This in itself will promote greater productivity,” Mr Saithong said.

He described the That Luang Festival, the fair, and the Tourism Festival as national events, all of which serve to highlight Visit Laos Year 2012.

As part of the promotional campaign, the Vientiane authorities, in collaboration with the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, joined forces to organise the various events and ensure a resounding success.

Source: Vientiane Times
November 26, 2012