S. Korean envoy learns how Laos will transform from land-locked to land-linked nation


  • Laos
  • Thursday, 19 Aug 2021

Alounkeo Kittikhoun (left) guides Ambassador Moohong Im (centre) on a tour of the project construction site. - VT

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN): The Thanaleng Dry Port (TDP) and Vientiane Logistics Park (VLP) will stimulate the Lao government’s effort to transform Laos from a landlocked into a land-linked country, the Lao developer of the mega project told the visiting Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Laos.

Ambassador Moohong Im and his entourage on Tuesday (Aug 17) visited the US$727 million project, which is being developed in the Lao capital.

The ambassador visited the project as its developer Vientiane Logistics Park Co., Ltd. is preparing to launch a soft opening of the project in September and a grand opening in November.

The diplomat; Director General of Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency, Pilseong Kim were welcomed by Alounkeo Kittikhoun, former Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office and current President of the Executive Board of Strategy and Planning at PTL Holding Company Limited (PTLH) – the parent company of the developer,

The dry port and logistics park is one of four mega projects under the Lao Logistics Link (LLL) project, which PTLH has been granted a concession to develop.

The other three projects are the Vung Ang seaport in Vietnam’s central Ha Tinh province, which the Lao developer and its Vietnamese partner will jointly develop and operate; a planned railway connecting Vientiane with the seaport; and a planned 2,000MW coal-fired power plant in central Khammuan province.

“In November, our company will assume management (of the seaport),” Alounkeo told the guests.

Experts are reviewing a feasibility study of the section of the planned railway that links Khammuan province with the seaport.

Through the Vung Ang seaport, the route will directly connect Laos to countries such as the southern region of China, Japan, Korea, Russia, the Philippines and Indonesia.

Set to link with the Laos-China railway, which is scheduled to become operational in December, the Vientiane Logistics Park, which also connects to the Laos-Thailand railway, will link to another regional and global trade route by rail via China towards Kazakhstan and all the way to Germany in Europe.

“The Thanaleng Dry Port and Vientiane Logistics Park project will transform Laos from a landlocked into a land-link country,” Alounkeo said, adding that the project is part of the Lao National Logistics Strategy for 2016-2030.

The Vientiane Logistics Park comprises five zones that offer various investment opportunities for investors. The zones are as follows:

1. Thanaleng Dry Port (TDP): The dry port acts as the centre of international import and export trade with all categories of customs operations. Importantly, quality equipment, vehicles and warehouse systems will be installed professionally to enable the processing of larger numbers of containers. Use of the Terminal Operation System will guarantee the best service in terms of speed, security and reliability.

2. Tank Farm: This facility will store liquid bulk cargoes for importing and storing fuel from Thailand and will serve as a fuel distribution centre for Laos. Diesel and petroleum products will arrive at the tank from a dedicated rail yard and pipeline.

3. Logistics Park: The main service provided by the Logistics Park is a warehousing and distribution centre, which offers goods storage, consolidation, distribution, inventory management, and warehouse management.

4. Free Trade Zone (FTZ): The main business activities in the zone are the HALAL Hub and Agriculture Production Park, Technology Park, Office Zone, SME Building Area, Commercial Zone and Landmark (VLP Co., Ltd. office).

5. Export Processing Zone (EPZ): The new destination as a modern and the most dynamic EPZ in the region, it will offer a more competitive business environment and will gear up to become a manufacturing export hub for the Asean and global consumer market.

Head of the Investment Promotion Unit of VLP Co, Ltd, Viphalath Jinnalard, said the project, which is located near the first Laos-Thailand Mekong Friendship Bridge, will serve as a border checkpoint similar to a seaport-based or airport-based transit area or international arrival zone, where procedures are streamlined to enable the free flow of trucks and goods.

She added that the project is expected to help cut transport and related logistics costs with speedy services.

Cross-border transport costs, especially at the Friendship Vientiane-Nong Khai border crossing, are expected to fall by 40 per cent from current prices by 2025.

Investors operating businesses at the TDP and VLP will benefit from tax incentives along with many trade privileges, she added.

The developer is optimistic that the Thanaleng Dry Port and Vientiane Logistics Park will contribute to supporting Laos to become an important player in the regional and global supply chain, as exports from South-East Asia to Europe via Laos and China by rail will take only a little more than 10 days, much shorter than the 45 days by sea.

Welcoming the ambassador and his delegation were also former Deputy Minister of Finance and now Vice President of the Executive Board of Trade and Regulation at PTLH, Sila Viengkeo, and the executive management team of VLP Co, Ltd. - Vientiane Times/Asia News Network

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