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Laos-Vietnam border a pivotal part of development

Vehicles regularly carry goods into Laos from the sea port in Thanh Hoa province of Vietnam, about 250 kilometres from Huaphan province.
The amount of incoming traffic is not large but the border is heavily congested with trucks ferrying goods into both countries.
Director of the Huaphan provincial Works and Transport Department, Mr Houngaloun Bounthameuang, said on Tuesday that every day the number of trucks working their way across the border is considerable.
The vehicles may be travelling locally or making long-haul journeys.
Vietnam is recognised as being a longstanding good friend and neighbour of Laos and also provides transport services and products at reasonable prices between the two countries.
“Most of the trucks coming from Vietnam are carrying construction equipment and products into Huaphan,” Mr Houngaoun said.
The Lao vehicles crossing the border into Vietnam are usually loaded with crops of various kinds.
Depending on the needs of people in Xieng Khuang province, which borders Huaphan and also shares with a border with Vietnam, equipment needed for house building also comes into the country from Vietnam.
Cement is produced in Laos, as well as steel, but the prices are not as cheap compared to products imported from Vietnam.
New buildings are springing up in profusion in Xamneua district, the provincial capital of Huaphan, and the town is almost unrecognisable compared to five or six years ago.
Residents of Vientiane who visited the northern town recently remarked on the extent to which things had changed and couldn’t remember the places they knew because of all the new buildings.
The state has spent several billion kip and taken out loans to develop infrastructure in Huaphan.
To feed the development machine, increasing numbers of Vietnamese trucks haul construction materials across the border into Laos.
On some days, long queues form when trucks from both countries line up to cross the border.
Some Lao trucks bring in eggs, maize, ginger, salt, fruit, and sweets from Vietnam, while in the other direction vehicles enter Vietnam laden with forest products such as bamboo which is used to make toothpicks.
Huaphan’s development has been instigated by the goals laid down in the seventh National Socio-economic Development Plan and its growth is continuing under the eighth National Socio-economic Development Plan for 2016 to 2020.         

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update February 20, 2019)

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