Laos: Smart city development expected to begin soon

VIENTIANE, Jan 5 (Vientiane Times/ANN): The development of smart cities in Luang Namtha and Oudomxay provinces will soon get underway as authorities in charge are finalising negotiations on project agreements.

Addressing the annual meeting of the planning and investment sector in Vientiane recently, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Planning and Investment, Dr Sonexay Siphandone, briefed participants on the progress of these projects.

Once the negotiations are finalised, the authorities and the potential developers will proceed to the next step of drawing up concession agreement. It was reported previously that the smart cities will be developed by Thailand’s Amata Corporation Public Company Ltd.

Thursday’s meeting reviewed the progress made in implementing several mega projects. These are important drivers of the economy and include the Laos-China railway and the Vientiane-Vangvieng expressway.

Construction of the railway linking Vientiane to the Chinese border is now 94.15 percent complete and is slated for completion by the end of this year.

The Vientiane-Vangvieng expressway is in use and is Phase I of the Vientiane-Boten expressway, which will link the Lao capital with Boten at the Chinese border.

The government recently also approved the corridor for Phase II of the expressway, which will link Vangvieng and Luang Prabang province.

In addition, officials are carrying out feasibility studies on other large-scale projects including the Vientiane-Hanoi expressway to link the Lao and Vietnamese capitals, the Vientiane-Pakxe expressway, and the No. 1 expressway in Vientiane, according to Dr Sonexay.

The meeting reviewed the implementation of the 2020 socio-economic development plan and discussed this year’s plan. Participants also reviewed the eighth National Socio-economic Development Plan for 2016-2020 and the plan for the next five years from 2021-2025. - The Vientiane Times/ANN

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