As presented in our World News, U.S. Senator Jim Webb visited Laos last week and met with government officials and business leaders to advance U.S. interests in the region.
The Office of U.S.
Senator Jim Webb of Virginia announced that the Democratic Senator arrived visited Laos
last Thursday to meet with a number of high-level government officials and industry leaders
to advance U.S.
interests in the region. The Senator's visit to Laos
is part of a two-week, five-nation tour of Asia that also includes Burma,
Senator Webb, who has long experience in the region, serves as chairman of the East Asia and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Senator Wedd said
"It is vitally important that the United States re-engage with Southeast Asia at all levels;" and
"Our relations with Laos have never been fully repaired since the end of the Vietnam War more than thirty years ago. I look forward to working with Lao officials in order to bring our two countries closer together economically, culturally, and diplomatically."
Senator Webb's schedule in Laos includes meetings with representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of National Defense as well as the Ministry of Industry and Commerce which is responsible for Laos' bid to join the WTO. Webb also met with the Mekong River Commission and business leaders to look at investment opportunities for the United States in Laos and ways to expand cooperation between the two countries.
Webb has enjoyed a continuous personal involvement in Asian and Pacific affairs that long predates his time in the Senate. In addition to his more recent visits as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Webb has worked and traveled throughout this vast region, from Micronesia to Burma, for nearly four decades, as a Marine Corps officer, a defense planner, a journalist, a novelist, a Department of Defense executive, and as a business consultant.
Webb served as an infantry Marine in Vietnam, and later as assistant secretary of defense and Secretary of the Navy in the Pentagon. He also served as an Asia-Pacific regional military planner in Guam, has written extensively on local, national and international issues in Japan, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines, and in the 1990's worked as a consultant for companies wishing to do business in Vietnam. He has served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee since joining the U.S. Senate in January 2007.
As chairman of the East Asia and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee, Webb oversees U.S. relations with countries in East Asia, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Rim, and Oceana. The subcommittee also oversees regional organizations such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).
Special report on the visit of Senator Jim Webb to Laos, translated by Buasawan Simmala