Laos and Thailand to Reopen Borders ‘as Soon as Possible’

Laos, Thailand friendship bridge

Laos and Thailand have agreed to reopen border crossings and checkpoints as soon as possible, according to Thai government spokesperson Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana.

The decision was made following a courtesy call on Prime Minister and Defence Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha by Lao ambassador to Thailand, Mr. Seng Soukhathivong.

Bangkok Post reports that Thai PM Prayut welcomed a plan for Prime Minister of Laos, Phankham Viphavanh, to visit Thailand in the middle of the year.

Prime Minister Prayut said that this would be a good opportunity to elevate relations to a strategic partnership for growth and sustainable development, according to the government spokesperson.

For his part, Ambassador Seng thanked the government and people of Thailand for providing assistance to Laos during floods that occurred in 2019, as well as for the timely provision of Covid-19 medical supplies.

The two sides spoke of the need to reopen cross-border checkpoints as soon as possible and increase the value of border trade to boost economic recovery.

Meanwhile, Thai Prime Minister Prayut urged Laos to consider streamlining its customs procedures and revising fees at the Thanaleng Dry Port and Vientiane Logistics Park near the Nong Khai Border in order to attract more Thai investment.

Gen. Prayut also requested that the Lao government consider developing the R12 road connecting Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam, which would assist local communities in each of the three countries.