Laos is likely to receive a loan worth THB 1.8 billion (around USD 51 million) from Thailand to develop the Khamsavath Station in Vientiane Capital, located near the border of the two countries, to boost cross-border trade and tourism.
Thailand’s Neighbouring Countries Economic Development Cooperation Agency (NEDA) President, Mr. Peerames Vudthitornetiraks, said on Monday that Neda is currently planning to ask for approval from the Cabinet to lend THB 1.8 billion to Laos, which will be used to commercially develop the area of Khamsavath Station.
Khamsavath Station is part of the Laos-Thai railway project connecting the Thai province of Nong Khai to the Vientiane Capital. The first phase of construction, which links the two stations of Nong Khai and Thanaleng, has already been completed and is awaiting inspection by both countries, the Nation Thailand reported.
“This railway project is in line with Laos’ National Railway Development Strategy, and it will boost cross-border trade and tourism between Thailand, Laos, and the southern provinces of China,” said Mr. Peerames.
Mr. Peerames added that Laos requested help from Thailand in training railway operators at a recent meeting between representatives from both nations. Since Laos requires all train operators to be Lao nationals, the Lao Railway Authority plans to send 5-10 operators to Thailand to train with the State Railway of Thailand.
If this loan is approved, it will bring the total financial assistance from Thailand to Laos to THB 15.32 billion, which is 70% of the entire budget that Neda had proposed to help neighboring countries.