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.