Laos: Lawmakers call for stricter scrutiny on foreign businesses to protect environment & people's livelihood

Author: Sidney Khotpanya & Eugene Whong, Radio Free Asia, Published on: 23 February 2019

"Provincial Lawmakers in Laos Call for More Scrutiny of Foreign Firms", 21 February 2019

Lawmakers in Laos are urging the government to be stricter on foreign business entities in the country in an effort to protect the environment and protect the livelihood of the people.

Khamsaphone Xayavong, a member of parliament...called for extra scrutiny on foreign companies at a provincial assembly conference...

He cited several cases in which foreign-owned businesses have polluted or engaged in unfair business practices.

These include Chinese banana plantations and factories that have polluted streams and rivers in northern provinces, Chinese companies which did not pay for products ordered from Laotian farmers, pig farms that violated contracts, failing to pay workers on time or failing to pick up the pigs that were ready to be sold.

...Illnesses and deaths have long been reported among Lao workers exposed to chemicals on foreign-owned farms, with many suffering open sores, headaches, and dizzy spells....

...Xayavong...said that...Chinese companies given concessions...were not required to undergo any inspections or impact studies. As a result of their economic activities, the local environment was severely damaged due to the heavy use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers.

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