Luang Namtha to Become New Regional Transport Hub

Luang Namtha Province

Laos’s northern province of Luang Namtha is poised to become a regional transport hub with investment in a dry port, leveraging its strategic location.

The province is expected to serve as a prime site for an international trade center for the country after the construction of a 414-km railway from China into Laos at the Boten border checkpoint is complete.

The USD 5.986 billion construction project, which began in 2015, is set for completion at the end of 2021.

The railway is part of the Kunming-Singapore Railway project, which connects Kunming with Singapore, passing through Laos, Thailand and Malaysia, Bounsong Keomanivong.

Luang Namtha would be part of the east-west economic corridor that runs from Myanmar to Vietnam and between Thailand and Vietnam, shortening travel time to just a few hours, said Bounsong Keomanivong, President of the Luang Namtha Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as quoted by Vientiane Times.

“This will be suitable for investment to provide services for travelers from these countries,” he said.

In 2019, more than 743,000 people visited the province via Boten across the Lao-Chinese border while its economy grew by 8.8 percent, with its GDP per capita income reaching about USD 1,700.


  1. Luang Nam Tha, situated among hilly and mountainous terrain is not very conducive as a transport hub for Thai-Vietnam trade. It makes much more sense, as is currently the case, to use the much better quality highways of Thailand and the straight, mostly flat roads of Savannakhet to transport goods into Vietnam. Luang Nam Tha is however a transit point for goods traded between Thailand and China. However, a much better road connecting the 4th Thai-Lao friendship bridge and Luang Nam Tha/Boten is urgently needed. The present road is too steep, winding and full of large craters. The short Na Teuy-Boten section is even worse. At minimum, a 4-lane, though preferably 6-lane road is urgently needed here. The current, narrow 2-lane donkey track is dangerous and insufficient for the current traffic volume.