Saravan province: Lao and Vietnamese high ranking officials gathered to open the Lalay International checkpoint between Saravan province in Laos and Quang Tri province in Vietnam yesterday.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Thongloun Sisoulith and his counterpart Mr Pham Binh Minh celebrated the opening of the international border checkpoint, while hundreds of delegates from both sides witnessed the event.

checkpoint between Laos and Vietnam out of the 47 traditional, national and international checkpoints that are currently seen along the north to south borderline in both countries,” Mr Thongloun said at the opening ceremony.

“This international checkpoint is important in cementing the relationship, friendship and comprehensive cooperation between Saravan and Quang Tri provinces and will help to contribute towards the promotion of high volume trading among the provinces.”

Upgrading Lalay from a national checkpoint to an international checkpoint will help facilitate communication and transport between the countries’ people and increase trade and tourism in both provinces, he said, adding that it would basically create comfortable conditions to develop both provinces and further extend them to open a link in the region.

The checkpoint will also join the East-West Economic Corridor and link with other neighbouring countries of Cambodia and Thailand, which would effectively mean a successful link to Asean as well as the Asean Community in 2015, Mr Thongloun said.

He said the Laos-Vietnam border saw the completion of the installation and restoration of 834 markers along their 2,067km borderline.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Vietnam Mr Pham Binh Minh said, “Our countries are now able to comfortably communicate and transport goods, while extending the solidarity of our two provinces.”

“This will contribute directly to enhancing cooperation and development as well as boosting tourism and attracting more foreign investment in the area.”

Mr Pham hoped that authorities would pay close attention to working on attracting more investment to boost tourism and trading the countries’ products.

Saravan Governor Mr Khamboun Duangpanya said, “In past years, it was not easy upgrading the checkpoint from national to international but this is our chance to link the provinces to the sub-region and region.”

“Upgrading the checkpoint is a significant step in ensuring both provinces’ friendship and solidarity.”

According to a press release from the Foreign Ministry, Laos currently has 25 international checkpoints, eight bordering with Vietnam, two with China, one with Cambodia, 10 with Thailand and four international airports.

Lalay international checkpoint is an important strategy route of Road No. 15A, which links the 147km long road from urban Saravan province to the border of the two countries, while also linking 75km from urban Saravan on Road No. 15B to the southern Road No. 13 in Naphong area.

In the future, both of these roads will join a new checkpoint between Paktaphan in Saravan, Laos and Amnat Charoen province in Thailand as plans to build a friendship bridge are in the works.

Laos shares its longest border with Vietnam compared to other neighbouring countries.

Laos shares a 1,835km border with Thailand, a 535km border with Cambodia, a 505km border with China and a 236km border with Myanmar.

Source: Vientiane Times
Published on June 26, 2014