Laos, Vietnam seek funds for cross-border railway

VIENTIANE: The governments of Laos and Vietnam have vowed to seek financing to build a railway connecting the Lao capital Vientiane with the Vung Ang seaport in central Vietnam’s Ha Tinh province, some 400km south of the Vietnamese capital Hanoi.

The two sides signed an agreement in Vientiane on Sunday, pledging to work together to realise the planned project, known as the Vientiane-Vung Ang railway, local daily Vientiane Times reported yesterday.

The signing was one of the outcomes of the two-day goodwill visit to Laos by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam and President of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong on Sunday and Monday.

It is planned that the 555km railway will run for 452km in Laos and 103km in Vietnam.

Finance could be sought from the state and private sectors as well as a low-interest loan through official development assistance, according to the agreement.

The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) supported a feasibility study of the railway, which has been completed, according to the report. The Lao and Vietnamese governments have agreed to refer to the study.

The railway will be a huge boost to the government’s efforts to turn Laos from a landlocked country into a land-linked one and gain access to sea trade routes via the Vung Ang seaport, which the Lao and Vietnamese governments have agreed to jointly develop. — Xinhua

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