The approval means that foreign media can now set up offices in Laos for the first time, but cannot invest in media businesses. NA President Thongsing Thammavong noted in his closing remarks that the nation's first media law was approved by more than half of the deputies.
Before officially adjourning on July 26, the 6th Legislature of the Lao National Assembly, which started its 5th ordinary session on July 7, also passed four other laws. The approved measures include two new legislations on handicraft and livestock, and two amended laws on family and on court rulings enforcement.
National Assembly members also endorsed the government's socio-economic development plan for 2008-09 and approved its budget of 10,026 billion kips or approximately 19.82% of its projected gross domestic products or GDP. But they require the government to raise its projected revenues to almost 16.5% of GDP or some 8,340 billion kips. Some 7,589 billion of that revenues, or 15% of GDP, to be collected domestically with the rest coming from foreign grants and loans, which means that the government will be able to contain its budget deficit to 4% of GDP if it succeeds in meeting its revenues target and receiving as much foreign aids as it needs.
Listen to Songrit's report in Lao for more details.