VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/Asia News Network): The Republic of Korea has provided grant aid of US$8.6 million for a three-pronged immigration development project to be implemented by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).
Under the project, a new immigration building will be built while capacity building and a master plan for the overall development of the immigration sector will be undertaken.
The first component of the project was finalised on April 7 when the new 5-storey immigration building in Vientiane was handed over to the Lao government.
The fully furnished building has electricity and water connections and comes with IT and safety equipment. It is located in Dongnaxok village, Sikhottabong district and has been under construction for the past 31 months since June 2019.
The handover ceremony was attended by Deputy Minister of Public Security Pol. Lieutenant General Kongthong Phongvichit, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Laos Moohong Im, Country Director of the KOICA Laos Office Myungjin Kim, and Lao and Korean officials.
Speaking at the ceremony, Ambassador Moohong Im said the new immigration facility was a symbol of close cooperation and also a milestone in the development of cooperation between the two countries.
He noted that the number of Koreans visiting Laos in 2019 exceeded 200,000 after direct flights between the two countries began in 2013.
He also expressed his gratitude for the support provided by the Department of Immigration of the Ministry of Public Security in broadening exchanges between Laos and Korea.
Lieutenant General Kongthong outlined the cooperation between the two countries to date, saying that cooperation had proved fruitful in several sectors, including public security.
He said the new building would improve the working environment at the immigration headquarters.
In addition to the ongoing Project for Institution Capacity Building for the Department of Immigration, the KOICA Office in Laos is carrying out another project at the Ministry of Public Security titled Capacity Building for the Ha Mea Sa Hospital (Police Hospital) in Vientiane.