Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends,

The City of Vientiane, capital of the Lao People's Democratic Republic, plays a leading role in the social and economic development of the country. It counts 850 000 inhabitants representing 13% of the overall population, with a 12% economic growth per year and a € 3,979 per capita income per year. In order to support on a sustainable basis the evolution of our city, our development plan shall focus up to 2020 on 6 following mottos: SAFETY, CLEANLINESS, ENVIRONMENT, LIGHTING, ATTRACTIVENESS and MODERNITY.

The second edition of the Vientiane Rendez-Vous will be organized from January 23 to 27, 2017 under the joint responsibility of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the French Embassy. It is thus an honor for us to repeat with great pleasure the event after the remarkable success of the previous edition.

Laos is a member of the IOF (International Organization of the Francophonie), Vientiane is a member of the AIMF (International Association of French-speaking Mayors). By developing our relations with the French-speaking mayors (but also those from ASEAN), and in particular with the City of Paris - whose Mayor Mrs. Anne HIDALGO plays a leading role as chairman of AIMF - I hope that we will take part in the promotion of the Francophonie world wide and especially in South-East Asia.

The Francophonie will, I hope, help us advance towards social and economic progress. It is my wish that through an increasing number of visitors on the city's touristic sites, our city contributes to giving a harmonious image of a Laos respectful of its traditions and proud of the progress it has accomplished and of the spirit of togetherness in our community.

On behalf of the entire population, I warmly welcome you to the Vientiane Rendez-Vous. We count on all of you together to make this event a great success. Please join us on January 23-27, 2017.

Long live the French and Lao friendship!

M Sinlavong KHOUTPHAYTHOUNE Ph.d
Mayor of Vientiane