Lao-French Week gets underway
The inaugural Lao-French Week has kicked off today in Vientiane and is set to feature seminars, performances and competitions to promote cultural exchange in coming days.
Vientiane Deputy Mayor, Mr Saythong Keodouangdy, held a press conference last week to announce the details of the celebration, which runs from today until Friday.
Mr Saythong said he expected the festival would increase the attractiveness of Vientiane to French investors as well as boost the city's role on the world stage and promote Laos as a tourist destination.
The festival gets underway today with a welcome party hosted by Vientiane Mayor Mr Soukan Mahalath at the National Convention Centre.
A more official opening for the Lao-French Week will be held at the centre tomorrow with Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad in attendance to launch a trade exhibition show.
Seminars on investment in Laos, living happy in the city and growth in Southeast Asia will begin at the centre on Wednesday while a petanque competition will run throughout the week at the National University of Laos, with competitors vying for the French Ambassador's Cup.
Performances will be held each night this week at the National Culture Hall to celebrate the cultures of both Laos and France and Lao-ITECC is set to play host to a Lao-French Film Festival on November 20 from 2pm to 6pm.
The week will end with a gala dinner at the French Ambassador's Residence, beginning at 7.30pm on Friday night.
Most events are free and open to the public.
By Sisouphan Amphonephong
(Latest Update November 25, 2013)