VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/Asia News Network): A grand opening of the Thanaleng Dry Port (TDP) and Vientiane Logistics Park (VLP) took place on Dec 4, marking the start of streamlined services to facilitate and cut the cost of transport and related expenditure.
Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh was invited to pull a lever to officially launch the mega project in Dongphosy village, Hadxaifong district, Vientiane.
On this auspicious occasion, the premier also struck a gong nine times, to symbolise good wishes for the success of the landmark project.
Soon afterwards, the prime minister cut a ribbon to send off trucks loaded with freight to destinations in Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam.
Addressing the grand opening ceremony, Chairman of Vientiane Logistics Park Co., Ltd., Chanthone Sitthixay, told the guests that the TDP and VLP facilities are part of efforts by the Party and government to transform Laos from being landlocked into a provider of ‘Land Link Transit Transport Services’ for the region and the world.
Built on 382 hectares of land, the US$727 million TDP and VLP will offer comprehensive facilities relating to freight transport and cross-border transport logistics. The project, which comes with a 50-year concession period, is being developed in full by the Lao-owned Vientiane Logistics Park Co., Ltd.
Construction of the dry port and logistics hub began in December 2020 with the project expected to be fully complete in the next two years.
“When the TDP and the VLP are fully operational, it will have important outcomes for the economy, the general public, and the people of Laos,” Chanthone told guests.
Attending the opening ceremony were senior government officials, company executives and staff, and invited guests.
The following benefits for Laos are envisaged when the two facilities are fully up and running:
Mega-scale standardised infrastructure that delivers ‘Land Link Transit Transport Services’ for the region and world.
New and sustainable source of revenue.
Assured transparent revenue source.
At least 50 percent cut in transport costs.
Chanthone expressed heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the Party and state leadership for extending support for the project, which he said had made it possible.
Located in a prime location next to the Laos-Thailand railway station and the Laos-Thailand Mekong Friendship Bridge 1, the dry port acts as a border checkpoint for freight, similar to a seaport-based or airport-based transit area or international arrival zone, where procedures are streamlined to enable the smooth flow of trucks and freight.
Set to link with the Laos-China railway, which came into operation on December 3, the dry port will eventually link to global transport systems via rail to European markets.
Shipment of goods from South-East Asia to Europe by rail will take just over 10 days. This is much shorter than transport by sea, which takes about 45 days.
The dry port will also link with a planned railway connecting Vientiane with the Vung Ang seaport in Vietnam’s central Ha Tinh province. Through this route, containers could reach countries and regions such as southern China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russia, the Philippines and Indonesia.
Addressing the grand opening, Minister of Public Works and Transport Viengsavath Siphandone said the Thanaleng Dry Port and Vientiane Logistics Park and their modern service systems will significantly cut the cost of logistics.
This reduced cost, the minister added, would increase Laos’ trade competitiveness and boost investment.
“This will be a significant contribution to driving economic growth,” he said.
Viengsavath pledged that the government and his ministry would continue to further support and facilitate the project. Developed solely by the Lao investor, the project comprises five zones offering various business incentives and opportunities for investors including tax breaks.
The zones are as follows:
1. Thanaleng Dry Port (TDP) - the centre of international import and export trade with all categories of customs operations.
2. Tank Farm - a fuel distribution centre for Laos.
3. Logistics Park - a warehousing and distribution centre.
4. Free Trade Zone.
5. Export Processing Zone.