The 45-member business delegation comprising delgates from the CII, Assocham and Ficci accompanying President Pratibha Patil called on her here on Sunday to brief her about the business and investment climate in Laos, and the expectations from the government of the Lao PDR. These issues are likely to figure at the India Laos Business Forum meeting that is to be held on Monday, which will be addressed by the President.

The head of the delegation Sandipan Chakraborty, MD of Tata Steel Processing and Distribution Ltd., stated that despite Laos enabling investment environment, the temporary suspension of mining lease licences by it has been a setback for prospective Indian investors.

The President returned to Vientiane on Sunday after a two-day visit to Luang Prabang. She travelled with a limited delegation to the historic city located 425 miles north of Vientiane in a specially chartered Lao Air ATR flight. Luang Prabang is set in a peninsula that overlooks the confluence of the Nam Khan and Mekong rivers, and was the capital of Lao until 1575. It is one of the spectacular locations in Laos that boasts of both historical significance and natural beauty.

Governor of the Province Bouheuang Douangphachanh called on the President and hosted a banquet in her honour. Ms. Patil visited the National Museum and the splendid Wat Xieng Thong temple that was built around 1560, and is today a UNESCO world heritage site. She distributed gifts to around 200 monks and participated in the traditional Baci ceremony, where threads believed to be propitious are tied on wrists.

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