Douglas Foskett

Economic Changes Mean Border Challenges in Laos

By Doug Foskett, Chief of Mission IOM Lao PDR

Asia is changing – so fast you can literally watch it happen. Like a time-lapse movie, buildings sprout up, cities spread, people rush ever-faster between countries. ASEAN, the Association of South-East Asian Nations is quietly but firmly becoming a regional force, bringing opportunity and challenge.

Better a captive audience than an audience of captives

By Douglas Foskett

Landlocked, with six and a half million people living in 17 provinces surrounded by five countries (Vietnam, China, Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand), Laos is not exactly an isolated country. All of its 17 provinces have at least one international border, nine of them have two.  So while plenty of legal transit points are accessible, crossing illegally is not exactly difficult either. To cross legally people need a passport, and these are only available at one location in the capital Vientiane. That’s where the IOM TV and DVD player are installed.