Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, April 4

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NEW DELHI -- Indian President Droupadi Murmu on Thursday officially launched the country's first home-grown gene therapy for cancer at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay in the country's financial capital Mumbai.

Named "NexCAR19," the new cancer therapy was approved by India's Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) in October last year. (India-Cancer-Therapy)

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VIENTIANE -- Laos and Thailand launched a cross-border QR payment linkage to facilitate economic activities between the two countries and bolster trade, investment, and tourism.

The launching ceremony was held in northern Laos' Luang Prabang province on Wednesday, according to a Thursday report by Laos' central bank, the Bank of the Lao PDR. (BOL). (Laos-Thailand-Cross-Border-QR-Payment)

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DHAKA -- Bangladesh has been bracing for a searing summer after record-shattering heat last year.

Mild to moderate heatwave is already sweeping over parts of the South Asian country including capital Dhaka. (Bangladesh-Climate-Heat)

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BANGKOK -- Governments of developing Asia-Pacific countries are in urgent need of affordable and long-term financing as many of them are being forced to choose between servicing debt in a high-interest rate environment and investing in education, health and social protection for their people, a UN report said on Thursday.

According to the latest report released by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), new perspectives and approaches can help solve this long-standing challenge. (Thailand-UN-Economy) Enditem

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