Laos, Cambodia Discuss Potential High-Speed Rail Link

Laos, Cambodia's PM Discuss Potential High-Speed Rail Link
A railway line in Cambodia (photo: phnompenhpost)

Prime Minister of Laos Mr. Sonexay Siphandone was in talks with his Cambodian counterpart, Mr. Hun Sen during his recent official visit about the possibility of building a high-speed railway connecting both countries and also other nations in the region.

According to Cambodianess, not only did the two prime ministers sign agreements and action plans to enhance comprehensive and long-lasting strategic partnerships, but the idea of a high-speed railway connecting the nations was also brought to the table.

The news report said that both prime ministers were of the same opinion in connecting the two Lao provinces of Champasack and Attapeu to the two Cambodian provinces of Preah Vihear and Ratanakiri to further foster people-to-people relations.

However, there are currently no further details on how the new connections would be implemented.

“We also discussed the high-speed rail link between Cambodia, Laos, and other countries,” Mr. Hun Sen said.

“Our discussion also covered issues related to tourism including land and air tourism connectivity by connecting cities, especially Luang Prabang, Siem Reap, and Phnom Penh. It can provide opportunities for tourists to come to Laos and Cambodia [or] to Cambodia and Laos, providing opportunities for the people of our two countries.”

The Cambodian PM stated that both countries will also increase trade volume and collaboration in the energy sector, as Cambodia purchases electricity from Laos to fulfill its expanding demand.

“Cambodia is one of the prominent markets for Laos’ energy export. So we focus on cooperation on hydroelectricity as well as coal electric power,” he added, referring to Laos as the “battery of ASEAN.”

At present, no railway line connects Cambodia and Laos directly. However, there has been an increase in the number of train routes within the two countries.

In 2022, Laos also saw a visit from a Cambodian delegation to explore the possibility of connecting Laos and Cambodia with a railway line.