Laos aims to become a significant exporter of electricity, selling more than 12,000 megawatts to Southeast Asian countries by 2020, a government official said this week. Power demand in Southeast Asia is expected to grow rapidly as its economies expand, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Asian Development Bank are promoting more efficient regional grid systems to help international electricity transmission. Laos also hopes to raise nearly $80 million from global investors by issuing its first ever foreign bonds later this year, international financial sources said. The Asian Development Bank has been working closely with the Lao government in preparing to issue, possibly in September in Thailand, bonds denominated in Thai baht with a term of seven to 15 years. Issuing bonds in Thailand is more likely to attract the attention of global investors than if Laos were to issue it at home, the sources said. (Dow Jones, Kyodo)

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