Lao authorities have decided to build a border market and a warehouse at the train depot for the first railway linking Laos and Thailand, which is being constructed and expected to be completed and up and running by year's end.
The railway will connect Nongkhai with Tha Nalaeng via the first Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge. The market and the warehouse will be constructed on a 50-hectare lot in Ban Dong Phou Sy. Expected to be completed in 2009, the facilities are built to facilitate border trade between Laos and Thailand, as well as among the GMS nations and the ASEAN grouping as a whole. The project is also part of the Lao government's plan to commemorate the 450th anniversary of the capital city of Vientiane.
It is not clear, though, how Lao officials will finance this project. But reports say they have been in discussion with Chinese and Thai authorities.
In another bilateral cooperation, Laos and Vietnam have open another international border crossing between Phou Keua on the Lao side and Kontoum on the Vietnamese side. Officials of both nations hope the new crossing will boost bilateral cooperation in the fields of trade and tourism, and will increase trade with Cambodia as part of the economic Emerald Triangle which is being jointly developed by the three neighbors.
The Emerald Triangle project, which began in 2007 and is expected to be completed in 2010, has received support fron the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, as well as Japan.
Listen to our Laos Today report for more details in Lao