Laos, Thailand Plan to Build More Bridges across the Mekong
Laos has proposed three additional Mekong River bridge links with Thailand as part of a joint project to foster closer ties between the two countries.
The proposal suggests bridges be built to link the Lao and Thai provinces of Borikhamxay and Bung Karn, Saravan and Ubon Ratchathani, and Vientiane province with Loei province.
Proposed construction of the fifth Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge linking Laos’ Borikhamxay province and Thailand’s Bung Karn province is now awaiting confirmation of a funding source while the survey and design have been completed, a Ministry of Public Works and Transport official said.
Deputy Director of the ministry’s Planning and Cooperation Department, Mr. Phetsamone Viraphanh, told Vientiane Times on Monday that Laos had submitted a request to Thailand’s Neighbouring Countries Economic Development Cooperation Agency (NEDA) for funding.
Construction of the bridge linking Borikhamxay and Bung Karn provinces will begin soon, once we receive funding. This will boost socio-economic growth, trade, transport, and tourism between our two countries, Mr. Phetsamone said.
Thailand is now considering the proposal from Laos to build three more bridges to promote ties between the two countries, the Bangkok Post reported recently.
The issue was also on the agenda during talks between Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Laos’ Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit held in Vientiane last week.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Prayut told Mr. Thongloun that more transport links through new bridges between the two neighbours would be taken into consideration when making the final decision based on mutual benefits, the Bangkok Post s aid.
Laos and Thailand are now connected through four friendship bridges. These link Vientiane and Nong Khai province, Savannakhet province and Mukdahan province, Khammuan province and Nakhon Phanom province, and Bokeo province and Chiang Rai province.
The two countries also plan to promote border tourism at Phu Chee Fah and Phu Chee Dao in Chiang Rai province, and Kiew Hok in Phayao province, the Bangkok Post reported.
The plan to develop the border areas in Thailand and Laos is undertaken by Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Ministry.
Source: Vientiane Times