Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has approved a US$107 million investment to turn the La Lay border area in Quang Tri Province into an international transit area and economic hub towards Laos. The area has served as a national gate since 1998 and already offers limited facilities to travellers and locals.
The area will get a terminal zone for cargo transits, a concrete border gate, a housing system for customs and logistics services and roads, as well as water and electricity supply to support an international border gate while roads will be improved to speed up road traffic between Laos and Vietnam.
The government will provide almost half of the total investment while the remainder will come from land auctions of plots in the area and other capital sources.
Construction will begin later this year and will be completed within the 2015-2020 period.
Lying between the central province and Laos’ Salavan Province, the new La Lay border gate is expected to foster economic and social relations between the Vietnamese and Laos provinces and to improve border security in the area. The border gate is also expected to facilitate transport along the East West Economic Corridor, which runs through parts of Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Viet Nam.
By 2020, annual import and export turnover through the gate is expected to reach $460 million, and the gate will provide an added value of $13 million to the area’s service and production sectors. The Quang Tri Province People’s Committee estimates the catchment area of the future border and trade gate reaching the Lao provinces of Salavan, Champasak, Sekong and Attapeu as well as the Thai provinces of Ubon Ratchathani and Amnat Charoen. In Vietnam, La Lay is 120 km away from the old Imperial capital of Hue, a two-hour drive by car.
This will be the second border gate between the Vietnamese province and Laos. The first is the busy Lao Bao border gate, linking the province with Laos’ Savannakhet Province.
(Partial source: VNS)