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Key Lao logistics park opens August

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Lao foreign minister Saleumxay Kommasith in front of a design model of the Vientiane Logistics Park (VLP). VIENTIANE MAI

Key Lao logistics park opens August

Lao's top diplomat Saleumxay Kommasith on July 23 visited the Thanaleng Dry Port (TDP) in Vientiane Logistics Park (VLP), as the project prepares for a soft opening next month, linking with the Laos-China railway.

The foreign minister pledged support for the project after he and his entourage were briefed on the significance of the $727 million VLP being developed in Dongphosy village, Hadxaifong district, Vientiane.

With the railway, which links the Lao capital of Vientiane with the Chinese border, slated for opening on December 2, the developer of the TDP and VLP told the visiting guests that the railway will link with the project.

As the VLP is located next to the Laos-Thailand railway station near the first Laos-Thailand Friendship Bridge, the TDP and logistics park are expected to serve as a logistics and transport hub linking the two railways and facilitate trade and investment.

Presenting the project to the minister, TDP managing director Sakhone Philangam said it was necessary for Laos to have a dry port and logistics park to facilitate logistics and transport links. “Laos does not have a coastline, so there is a need for an international connecting point,” he said.

Although the Lao industry remains limited, the country is surrounded by large industrial neighbours, thus the project envisions becoming a ‘logistics connector’ among countries in the region, Sakhone said.

The TDP tops the list of development priorities in the Lao National Logistics Strategy, an action plan that will drastically transform Laos from being landlocked to a land-linked country.

Being developed on a 382ha site on a 50-year concession, VLP is part of the Laos Logistics Link project.

The VLP are set to connect to a number of mega trade infrastructure projects that are also part of the Laos Logistics Link. These include the Vung Ang seaport in Vietnam’s central Ha Tinh province, which the Lao and Vietnamese governments have agreed to jointly develop, the planned railway to link the Lao capital of Vientiane with the Vung Ang seaport, and the 2,000MV coal-fired power plant in central Laos’ Khammuan province.

Sakhone said the project would also connect to Asean Highway No 12 and the Laos-China railway connecting the capital of Vientiane with the Chinese border.

The project is set to streamline logistics and transport procedures and reduce relevant costs, the managing director added.

Located near the 1st Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge, the TDP and VLP are expected to reduce cross-border transport costs, especially at the 1st Lao-Thai Friendship Vientiane-Nong Khai border crossing by 40 per cent from current prices by 2025.

This would not only make Laos a preferred transit point, but also an international commercially-connected centre.

Citing advice given by foreign experts, Alounkeo Kittikhoun, former Group of Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDC) chairman for 1999-2007 and current PTL Holding Co Ltd Executive Board of Strategy and Planning president, said it is envisioned that the Thanaleng Dry Port and Vientiane Logistics Park will be world-class facilities.

The VLP is the only comprehensive logistics park in the Lao capital and comprises five zones in one location.

First, the TDP 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 (TOS) will guarantee the best service in terms of speed, security and reliability.

Second, a Tank Farm 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 in the future.

Third, a Logistics Park will provide as its main service a warehousing and distribution centre which offers goods storage, consolidation, distribution, inventory management, and warehouse management.

Fourth, a Free Trade Zone will house as its main business facilities the HALAL Hub and Agriculture Production Park, Technology Park, Office Zone, SME Building Area, Commercial Zone and Landmark (VLP Co Ltd office).

Lastly, an Export Processing Zone – as a new, modern destination and most dynamic of its kind in the region – will offer a more competitive business environment and will gear up to become a manufacturing export hub for the ASEAN and global consumer market.

Saleumxay praised the project developer, saying that once it is realised, the project would bolster the government’s land-link effort and increase the competitiveness of made-in-Laos products.

The minster expressed full support for the project, hoping to see that it is fully realised and can drive the Lao economy.

VIENTIANE TIMES/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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