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General Cheng Sayavong is a general of the Lao People's Revolutionary Army and head of the Borisat Phattana Khed Phudoi (BPKP) or in English, the Mountainous Areas Development Company (MADC). He is one of the most powerful men in Laos, though he has not been known to dabble in national politics. His fiefdom is the far-flung hamlet of Lak Xao (which literally means Kilometer 20), where he controls much of the country's timber trade, including trade in precious Hinoki cypress, which he extracts by helicopter and ships to Japan via the Vietnamese port of Vinh. The Nam Theun II (NT2) dam is in his backyard. Already a favorite of expats and diplomats, as well as tourists who visit his menagerie of endangered species (the Lak Xao Zoo), as construction gets under way, his profile may become more visible.
Cheng Sayavong served as Vice-Minister of Commerce & Tourism and Chairman of the National Tourism Authority of Lao PDR.
- Brett Dakin: Another Quiet American, Asia Books 2003
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