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Govt takes step to develop VungAng Seaport

The government has instructed relevant sectors to study the establishment of a Lao joint state-private company to join its Vietnamese counterpart to develop a seaport in Vietnam, the government spokesman has said.

The instruction was made at the two-day monthly cabinet meeting for May that closed on Tuesday at the Prime Minister’s Office, the government spokesman DrChaleunYiapaoher told a press conference after the meeting. The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister ThonglounSisoulith.
“The Prime Minister and the government’s guidance are to establish a Lao joint state-private company to join with Vietnam’s company. Details will be informed at later dates,” DrChaleun said.
The move came after the governments of Laos and Vietnam signed a deal last month to jointly develop the planned VungAng seaport project in Vietnam’s central Ha Tinh province.
The deal was among nine cooperation agreements signed during the official visit to Laos last month by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen XuanPhuc.
Once the seaport project is realised, it will enable landlocked Laos to access sea trade routes. An official of the Inland Waterways Transport Department, under the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, told Vientiane Times yesterday the project was still in the early stages and more details needed to be sorted out. On several occasions, the Vietnamese government has pledged to support and facilitate Laos to utilise the seaport in Vietnam.
Laos and Vietnam have also engaged in an effort to develop a railway to link Vientiane with the seaport to facilitate goods transport and enhance Laos’ access to sea trade routes.
During last month’s visit to Laos by Vietnam’s Prime Minister, the two governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding agreeing to work together to develop the Vientiane-Thakhaek-Muya railway, linking Vientiane with the VungAng seaport.
Feasibility of the railway project is expected to be completed by the end of this year. It was estimated that the railway would be about 550 km long.
The railway project was intended to link with the Laos-China railway project, which is currently under the construction, Deputy Director General of the Railway Department under the Ministry of Public Works and Transport,MrSonesack N. Nhansana said this week.
This means once the projects are operational and the two railways connected, Laos will enjoy more convenient transport. Additionally, the distance from Vientiane to VungAng seaport will be just over 500 km, shorter than Vientiane to Thailand’s Laemsabang seaport, which is about 700 km.
However, freight service providers said in the context of Laos, not only the distance but other aspects also had to be taken into account when it came to providing services.
Deputy Managing Director of the Lao Freight Forwarder Co Ltd, MrSomphonePhasavath said his company choose to transport goods through Thai seaports though the distances were longer.
He explained that Thai seaports were busier and on a larger scale with ships destined for various overseas markets. And the scale of Lao goods to be transported each time was small thus service providers in Laos needed to ship their containers with other providers so the cargo ship was fully loaded. Doing this would cut service costs, MrSomphone said.

By SouksakhoneVaenkeo
(Latest Update May 25, 2017)

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