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Lao ministers call for better Asean knowledge
Publication Date : 08-08-2013
Two deputy ministers have asked members of the Lao media to deepen their knowledge of Asean so as to provide more accurate information to the public.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alounkeo Kittikhoun, and Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Savankhone Razmountry, made the request at a meeting held on Tuesday at the Lao National Radio office to boost the domestic media's understanding of the opportunities and challenges associated with joining the Asean Economic Community (AEC) in 2015.
“I want for media organisations to have their publications accurate on Asean in terms of the commonly-used phrases, sentences and language based on the Asean Charter,” Alounkeo said in his opening remarks at the meeting.
More than 90 news editors and reporters from various domestic media organisations attended the conference.
Alounkeo, who is also head of the Lao-Asean Senior Officials group, said he had observed some media confusion in news pieces when referring to capital flow under the AEC.
He said use of the term “free flow of capital” in place of “freer flow of capital” was an example, and the inaccuracy could provide a loophole for rivals to seize an advantage.
“Flow of capital will be freer under AEC, but not 100 per cent free. Our media should have a clear understanding about this,” he said.
Alounkeo praised media participation in the country's Asean work over the years since Laos joined the regional association in 1997, but advised media members to be careful in their role.
He briefed the gathering on role and status of Asean over the years, from 1967 when it had just six members through to 1999, when it reached 10 member countries.
Alounkeo said the party had reacted quickly when it determined the best way for Laos to continue its development was to join the association.
Savankhone praised the Lao National Radio-hosted meeting, which he said created opportunities for building knowledge within the media and boosted members' participation in accelerating integration into the AEC.
“Building awareness and understanding on Asean for each member country is important; it is the media's task,” he said.
Savankhone commended the media on its role in reporting Asean-related activities of various government ministries, agencies and bodies, especially the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which had helped to build Lao citizens' understanding of Asean.
He stressed the importance of yesterday's meeting, which he said provided opportunities for the domestic media to learn more about the role of the country's various sectors in regional integration.
Senior officials from the two ministries and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce delivered lectures on the three pillars of the Asean community at the meeting – political, security, economic and socio-cultural cooperation.