Vietnam has agreed to assist Laos in the feasibility study for a railway project linking the city of Vinh, in central Vietnam, to Laos capital Vientiane via Thakhek in central Laos.
The feasibility study is expected to take ten months and funded by a 3-billion Dong grant from Vietnam. The Vinh-Thakhek-Vientiane railway would be 519-kilometer long, with the Vinh-Thakhek segment running parallel to the R-2 highway.
If the project is deemed feasible, Laos is expected to look to China for construction funding. The Communist giant who wants to have railway access to its neighbors to the South to facilitate its trade has already approved a $525-million aid to Vietnam to fund railway feasibility study and construction projects linking Vietnam to Laos and Kampuchea. China hopes to have a railway network running from Kunming to Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, Kampuchea, and Thailand by 2020.
Listen to Songrit's report for more details in Lao.