Tag Archives: Belt and Road Intiative

Railway Cuts Through, Belt & Road Reviewed At China-ASEAN Meet

Lao-China Railway scale model

Travelers, tourists and residents in Laos can expect to be able to ride the rails to traverse some of the country’s key destinations and onward to China’s Yunnan province and beyond by the end of 2021, and eventually, in the other direction to Bangkok, a major strategic dialogue meeting in China has been told.

The project was 40% complete and on track, a senior academic from Laos told a strategic dialogue forum in Nanning to mark the 5th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative, a major China-led initiative to boost infrastructure on regional trade routes.

The Forum was held in conjunction with the China-ASEAN Expo.

Speaking at the 11th China-ASEAN Think Tank Strategic Dialogue Forum was held in Nanning, Guangxi, the Associate Dean of the Lao Academy of Social Sciences said the railway would serve to connect China and ASEAN more closely was key to transforming Laos from a landlocked country to a land-linked country, news portal sina.com.cn reported (in Chinese).

Lao Academy of Social Sciences Associate Dean

Lao Academy of Social Sciences Associate Dean speaks in China

She said that the Sino-Royal Railway is conducive to the exchange of people and investment and the trade in Laos and Chinese goods.

After the commissioning, the railway would contribute to solving many employment problems in Laos and promote the development of the tourism industry and facilitate travel to strengthen exchange and cooperation between China and ASEAN, and achieve mutual benefit and win-win results, she said.

Lao-China Railway

Laos China Railway Route.

Proposed in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative (comprising both the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road) is aimed at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes of the Silk Road on land and at sea.

To follow the railways’ route, a video has been published which can be viewed on Youtube.

For more specifics on particulars of the project, visit Laotian Times own handy explainer Everything You Need to Know about the Laos-China Railway.

 

Laos; a Key Part in the Grand Scheme of Things

belt and road

The “One Belt, One Road” initiative is a crucial part of China’s development strategy to deepen economic cooperation with countries in Asia, Europe and Africa.

The Belt and Road Initiative was initially proposed by China in 2013, and refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, focusing on developing a trade and infrastructure network that connects Asia with Europe and Africa, along the ancient trade routes of the Silk Road.

Vice Minister of Public Works and Transport, Lattanamany Khounnyvong, states that the initiative commonly seeks the development of the countries along the Belt and Road with the goal of  “joining hands towards prosperity.”

Highlighting the country’s in-depth involvement in the initiative, Mr Lattanmany explained that the China-Laos railway, which began construction on Dec. 25, 2016, has been cited as the most significant project in the Eighth National Socio-Economic Development Plan 2016-2020 of Laos.

“As this is the No. 1 project of Laos, it is necessary to implement national policies well, promote socio-economic development, support the mission of poverty eradication along the railway route and help increase the incomes of local residents,” he stated.

According to the Vice Minister, Laos has been earnestly collaborating with Chinese contractors to assist local villagers, supporting infrastructure construction of roads, schools and healthcare services running along the railway.

It was also added by Mr Lattanamny that, “once completed, the railway will help facilitate people-to-people exchanges, reduce travel time and costs. The railway will also help promote agricultural production in Laos, increase income, attract more foreign investment and provide more employment opportunities.”

It is speculated that when the high-speed railway has reached completion and is fully functional in Laos, Lao people can offer services along the route, creating job opportunities for local people. Laos can also benefit from freight charges and people commuting via railway.

According to the Vice Minister of Public Works and Transport, this project will be crucial  in assisting Lao people escape poverty and raise living standards significantly, also citing that the construction of the China-Laos railway will help train high-tech personnel from Laos and provide valuable experience for the country in railway construction.

As previously reported by The Laotian Times, the China-Laos railway will run a total length of 414 km, with over 62.7 percent of bridges and tunnels, linking the Mohan-Boten border gate in northern Laos and the capital city of Vientiane.

Construction of the railway is scheduled to be completed within five years, and will cost an estimated 5.8 billion U.S. dollars to fabricate; 70 percent of which will be covered by Chinese investors, and the rest covered by Laos.

The China-Laos railway is the first overseas route connecting with the railway system in China, using Chinese technology, equipment and investment.

Lao Minister of Energy and Mines, Khammany Inthirath, added that the Belt and Road initiative is a significant and indispensable way to deepen cooperation between Laos and China in a plethora of fields such as investments, industrial production, trade, finance, culture, social integration policy and infrastructure.