Location: Home > Information > Latest News

New Lao-Thai bridge strengthens relationships, economic corridor

Source:   Time:

VIENTIANE, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- A new bridge connecting Laos and Thailand over the Mekong River is open for business on Wednesday, signaling the completion of work along one of the Greater Mekong Subregion's (GMS) most important economic corridors.

Speaking at the inauguration, Lao Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad and Thai Caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra emphasized the importance of the bridge's construction as representative of the good relationship between Laos, Thailand and China.

"The bridge is also a symbol of political cooperation of three governments to promote the good development partner of the three countries as well as between China and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations)," said Lengsavad.

Also attending the inauguration ceremony were Lao Vice President Bounnhang Vorachit, Thai Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and the Chinese Ambassador to Laos, among other senior officials from Laos and Thailand.

The opening of the bridge coincides with a meeting of ministers here in Lao capital Vientiane for the 19th Ministerial Conference of the GMS Economic Cooperation Program. The Asian Development Bank (ADB), which provides financing and secretariat services for GMS, conducted the feasibility study for the bridge project in 2005.

"The bridge is the missing link along the North South Economic Corridor, which is the main land route for trade between Yunnan province in People's Republic of China (PRC) and Thailand, as well as being a gateway for connectivity between PRC and ASEAN countries," said ADB Vice President Stephen Groff. "With all of the infrastructure in place, the potential for this corridor to become a driver of regional trade, tourism and investment can be realized."

The 480-meter long bridge replaces a system of ferryboats that were used previously. It links Chiang Khong district of Chiang Rai province on the Thai side with Houay Xai capital of Bokeo province on the Lao side. Land traffic will now be able to move much more easily across the 1000-kilometer route connecting Kunming in China and Chiang Rai in Thailand.

Wednesday's GMS Ministerial Meeting will also see the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the creation of the Greater Mekong Railway Association (GMRA) that aims to further enhance railway connectivity and thereby stronger economic corridors through the region.

GMS members include Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and China. The subregion, held together by the Mekong River, covers an area about the size of Western Europe and has a combined population larger than the United States.

[Relative Articles]

Copyright Reserved 2010 © South-East Asia & South Asia Infoport  | Filing Number:ICP 09005773
Technical Support:China Basalt Software Technology Co., Ltd.