The Ministry of Transport of Vietnam has proposed expanding opening hours at Vietnam-Laos border crossings to boost investment, trade and tourism between the two nations and region.
Vietnamese Minister of Transport, Mr Truong Quang Nghia submitted the proposal to the Minister of Public Works, Dr Bounchanh Sinthavong at the end of last month during his delegation’s working visit to Laos.
Mr Truong Quang Nghia proposed to Dr Bounchanh Sinthavong to extend the closing time for Viet-Laos borders from 5pm to 8pm.
Laos’ nine provinces of Huaphan, Xieng Khuang, Luang Prabang, Borikhamxay, Khammuan, Savannakhet, Saravan, Xekong and Attapeu share borders with Vietnam.
The busy Namphao-Cau Treo international border crossing between the two countries has already extended opening hours from 6am to 9pm.
Meanwhile, at lower volume traditional border crossings between Laos and Vietnam the opening hours will remain 8am to 4pm.
Director of Khammuan provincial Finance Department Mr Khamven Panyanouvong, told Vientiane Times on Monday that the Namphao-Cau Treo crossing opening hours were approved following agreement between the province and Vietnam’s Nghe An province.
The central government has yet to give the green light to extending opening hours for all Laos and Vietnam borders from 5 pm to 8 pm preferring to let Lao and Vietnamese provinces to make the decision on a case by case basis.
Deputy Head of the Administration Office in Khammuan province Mr Vannavong Vongprachanh also said that Naphao-Chalo international border between Laos and Vietnam in the province was open for freight trucks from 8 am to 5:30 pm, but stayed open for bus tours and travellers until 7:30 pm.
Director of the Savannakhet provincial Public Works and Transport Department, Mr Prasongsin Chaleunsouk, said Dansavan-Lao Bao international border has had an operational one door, one stop service since early 2015 which has reduced the time it takes vehicles to cross the border since its introduction.
The single window service means vehicles entering Laos from Vietnam are not checked at the Vietnamese border but only at the Lao border. Meanwhile vehicles from Laos entering Vietnam have to present their documents on the Vietnamese side only.
It now takes only 15 minutes for trucks to complete customs declarations at the Lao Bao-Dansavan border crossing between Vietnam and Laos. Vietnam needs to quickly build a strategy and policies for the development of cross-border transport, especially transport corridors.
The Nam Heuang-Nakaxeng International border in Xayaboury province also has an operational one door, one stop service.
Source: Vientiane Times