VIENTIANE: More than 1,000 people took part in a 10-km run to mark the second anniversary of the Laos-China railway and Laos’ 48th National Day.
The Laos-China Railway Company hosted the run in Vientiane on Friday (Dec 1), which also served to encourage fitness and promote tourism during Visit Laos Year 2024.
Runners from across the country took part in the run, with prizes worth more than 60 million kip on offer.
Minister of Public Works and Transport, Ngampasong Muongmany, the General Manager of Laos-China Railway Company Limited, Liu Hong, and senior ministry officials attended a ceremony to kick off the run and present awards to the winners.
Speaking at the ceremony, Ngampasong said the run was organised to welcome Visit Laos Year 2024 and to wish for the continued success of the railway, which is expected to bring more tourists to Laos because of the ease of travel it provides.
He affirmed the strong performance of the Laos-China Railway Company in terms of safety, natural disaster surveillance, passenger and goods transport, the training of Lao employees, and its social responsibility performance over the past two years.
The railway has become an important route connecting South-east Asia with China, Asia and Europe. It is a route of development and friendship that benefits the Lao and Chinese peoples, Ngampasong said.
Liu Hong said the Laos-China Railway Company’s desire is to bolster social and economic development in Laos, by promoting sports activities, tourism and culture, in addition to providing transport services.
Since the railway came into service in December 2021, the 1,035-km rail line has transported more than 19 million passengers and delivered 24 million tonnes of freight, according to the Lao News Agency.
This year, the number of passengers soared to over 1.75 million from January to September, a 103.7 per cent increase on the same period in 2022.
The Laos-China Railway Company has bought an additional train to meet the growing demand from tourists, both Lao and foreign, with passenger numbers expected to increase further next year when more people visit the country during Laos’ Chairmanship of Asean and Visit Laos Year 2024.
The railway links Vientiane with Kunming in southwest China. Its freight routes cover 10 countries and regions and it is an integral part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative and the Lao government’s ambition to transform the country from being merely landlocked to a land link within the region. - Vientiane Times/ANN