Deputy Governor of Vientiane Capital, Mr. Phounkhong Bannavong met with the Thai Permanent Secretary for Commerce, Mr. Keerati Rushchano on his visit to Laos earlier this month, to discuss the possibility of reopening four borders checkpoints connecting Laos’ Vientiane Capital and Thailand’s Nong Khai.
During their meeting, Mr. Phounkhong expressed that Thailand should quickly reopen four border checkpoints connecting Vientiane Capital and Nong Khai – one local checkpoint, and three other customs checkpoints.
The first checkpoint is the Tha Dua checkpoint in Vientiane Capital (opposite the Nong Khai Pier), followed by Vientiane’s Nong Da checkpoint (opposite Nong Khai’s Ban Mo), Ban Don Tai checkpoint (opposite Ban Chumpon), and Ban Khok Hae checkpoint (opposite Ban Muang in Nong Khai).
The deputy governor said that reopening the checkpoints is necessary to revive the cross-border trade and tourism between the two countries.
Mr. Keerati, on the other hand, stated that Thailand is ready to reopen the border checkpoints as long as Laos does the same.
According to Mr. Phounkhong, Vientiane Capital aims to open the Lao border as quickly as possible. However, infrastructure, operating systems, and human resources-related challenges have caused the border reopening to be delayed.
Both sides expressed interest in promoting tourism between the two countries and also ensuring connectivity in the region so that the two nations could gain more revenue from the same, said Mr. Keerati.
Currently, Thailand shares 49 border checkpoints with Laos. A total of 44 of the checkpoints on the Thai side are currently open, but just 36 are open in Laos, according to Bangkok Post.
In 2022, the Lao-Thai trade between Vientiane Capital and Nong Khai was reported to be worth THB 86.5 million (around USD 25 million) and the two cities ranked first in border trade between the two countries.