Tag Archives: cambodia

Laos and Cambodia to Build Friendship Bridge Across Xelamphao River

Laos and Cambodia Bridge

Laos and Cambodia are to build a bridge crossing the Xelamphao River, connecting Champasack, Laos with Preah Vihear Province, Cambodia.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Saleumxay Kommasith met with his Cambodian counterpart, Prak Sokhonn, yesterday, confirming the location of the bridge.

According to the Khmer Times, both countries had initially agreed upon a location, however Laos then requested a review in order to find a more suitable location.

The new location for the bridge was decided upon late last month after a Lao and Cambodian joint working team undertook a field survey.

The bridge, which crosses the Xelamphao River (named the Ropov River in Cambodia) will link Mounlapamok District, Champasack, with Thapeuay sub-district, Preah Vihear Province, Cambodia. The river currently serves as a border demarcation.

According to a spokesperson of the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the bridge is to improve connections between the country, boosting trade and tourism for both nations.

Both countries are to cooperate in building the bridge, however the cost of construction is yet to be confirmed.

Mr. Sokhonn and Mr. Kommasith also discussed cross-border drug trafficking. Mr. Sounry said Mr. Sokhonn urged cooperation between both countries against drugs and that Mr. Kommasith agreed fully.

A new border crossing was opened between Laos and Cambodia last month, leading to the two countries agreeing to further promote trade and tourism.

Lao Electricity Not Always Cheap for Neighbors

Lao Electricity Imported to Cambodia

Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen visited the opening of the new Lao-Cambodian border last Tuesday, and thanked the government of Laos for selling electricity at a cheap rate to Cambodia.

Experts have warned that Lao electricity prices are not as low as they seem, saying that a prolonged reliance upon imported energy from Laos means prices will remain higher for Cambodian consumers.

Electricity rates in Cambodia are among the highest in the region, with the most inexpensive option coming from the national grid. Prices vary from US $0.11 to $0.27 per kilowatt hour, compared to the low rate of just $0.07 paid by consumers in Laos.

Only about 25 percent of Cambodia is connected to the national grid, and some electricity suppliers use diesel fuel or charge transmission tariffs that can reach up to $1 per kilowatt hour.

Now experts are saying that Cambodia must not rely on Lao electricity imports, and must instead reduce costs by upgrading the national grid.

According to a recent article by the Phnom Penh Post, one expert has advised increasing solar power and focusing on coal in centralized generators for short and medum-term expansion of the national grid. This would be supplemented by solar-powered micro-grids in remote areas.

Another expert went on to say that these micro-grids could make a large impact on electricity supply and consumption, and would be entirely feasible for Electricite du Cambodge, the Cambodian state utility supplier.

While imported energy is a short-term solution to Cambodia’s energy shortage, relying on imports can leave the country exposed to market fluctuation, with potential additional costs passed along to consumers.

Cambodia is currently constructing the Lower Sesan II hydropower dam in northeastern Cambodia, which will produce approximately 400 megawatts of electricity. Many have criticized the project as harmful to the environment, and some experts have stated that dams alone will are not a suitable solution for Cambodia’s electricity shortage.

Source: Phnom Penh Post

Laos, Cambodia to open New Border Crossing


A new international border crossing between Laos and Cambodia is set to open next week.

The border crossing will connect Champasack Province in Laos with and Stung Treng Province, Cambodia.

The crossing, officially named the Nong Nokkhiane – Trapeang Kriel Border Checkpoint, is being established to help facilitate trade and tourism between the two nations.

A statement from the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reads, “both leaders, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and his Lao counterpart Thongloun Sisoulith, will preside over the inauguration ceremony of the international border checkpoint between Cambodia and Lao PDR to take place on 10 January.”

The statement went on to say that at the conclusion of the ceremony, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and his accompanying officials will be invited to visit the Don Sahong hydropower installation in Champasack Province.

Total investment in Laos by Cambodia is said to be valued at approximately US $84 million.

Viettel (Unitel in Laos) Pioneers Free Roaming in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam

Vietnam’s giant telecom levels call and data charges between three ASEAN neighbors.

HO CHI MINH CITY — Vietnam’s state-owned telecom Viettel will eliminate overseas roaming charges between its operators in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from January 2017.

“Users of Metfone in Cambodia, Unitel in Laos and Viettel in Vietnam will be charged at the local mobile fee when they make cross-border calls to each other,” said Nguyen Manh Hung, Viettel’s managing director, who regards the three countries as an economic and cultural bloc.

Discussions about free roaming services started years ago in Australia, Europe, and New Zealand, but without bearing fruit. Free roaming within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations has also been discussed by regional ministers since 2013.

Viettel has well-established infrastructure in the three countries, and is the first telecom to launch such a service within a regional economic bloc, promising cheaper cross-border rates for calls and data.

In a statement released on Thursday, Viettel said it expected its individual operators to lose some revenue initially with the reduced charges, but provided no figures. The figure could be 2% according to one Europe model in 2013. Viettel expects users to become more active when they travel if they can continue paying domestic rates.

Military-run Viettel posted revenue of $9.7 billion in 2015 with 13% year-on-year growth, and profits up 8% to $2 billion.

As of September 2016, Viettel had 90 million customers, of which 26 million were in nine overseas markets: Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Haiti, Laos, Mozambique, Peru, Tanzania, and Timor Leste. Viettel has targeted 25 countries by 2020.

Cambodia and Laos were Viettel’s first foreign ventures, and remain its most profitable. By August, Unitel in Laos had $1 billion in accumulated revenue over seven years and aggregate profit of $300 million. Unitel has a brand value of $132 million, making it one of the 30 most valuable in the region and top in Laos, according to a report by UK-based Brand Finance in April. The company currently has more than 2.5 million customers. It accounts for 47% of Laos’s mobile market and 35% of the broadband market.

Metfone in Cambodia has a brand value of $94 million and is the leading mobile service provider in the country with 5.5 million customers and 37% market share. It recorded $256 million in revenue last year.

Viettel already operates in East Timor, and is about to launch in Myanmar with a $1.5 billion commitment and two local partnerships. It is also believed to be negotiating its entry into Indonesia.

Viettel is targeting $1.5 billion in gross revenue from its overseas markets this year, up from $660 million in 2015. This has been driven by expansion of profitable third- and fourth-generation services. Overseas revenues were up 13% year on year in the first half of 2016.

Source: Nikkei Asian Review

Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam Expand Cooperation

The leaders of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam (CLV) have agreed to expand their economic cooperation through their joint territorial areas to accelerate the development of the three neighbours.

The agreement was reached yesterday at the 9th CLV Development Triangle Area (DTA) Summit in Siem Reap, Cambodia, the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported.

Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith led the Lao delegation attending the summit, which the ministry said was convened successfully.

Prime Minister Thongloun, his Cambodian counterpart Samdech Hun Sen and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen XuanPhuc signed a joint statement at the summit vowing to continue shared efforts to maintain peace, stability and security in the designated 13-province Development Triangle Area.

The DTA covers four Cambodian provinces (Ratanakiri, Stung Treng, Mondulkiri and Kratie), four Lao provinces (Attapeu, Saravan, Xekong and Champassak), and five Vietnamese provinces (Kon Tum, Gia Lai, DakLak, DakNong and BinhPhuoc).

The leaders agreed to work together to bolster socio-economic development in order to create more jobs, improve the livelihoods of their peoples and eliminate poverty in the 144,600-square-kilometre DTA which is home to about 6.7 million people.

Following their talks, the representatives of the three governments inked a cooperation agreement to promote and facilitate trade and investment in the DTA and increase its value.

In pursuit of this goal, the countries pledged to promote trading, create conditions favourable for business operations, and facilitate goods transport and people-to-people visits.

In this regard, the leaders approved 15 priority projects to enhance their cooperation.

During the summit, the leaders reviewed the progress made in implementing the DTA socio-economic development master plan and agreements they reached at the last summit held in 2014 in Vientiane.

Established in 1999, the CLV DTA aims to strengthen and promote comprehensive economic cooperation and good friendship between the three countries.

As of 2013, the average GDP in the Development Triangle Area had grown by 10 percent annually and GDP per capita was recorded at US$1,340.

The Lao foreign ministry said the DTA’s cooperation frameworks had brought a number of benefits to Laos. Cooperation projects under frameworks carried out over past years have seen the improvement of road connectivity in the region.

In Laos, schools, hospitals and other essential facilities have been built using funds provided by the government and its development partners, notably Japan, as well as investment by the private sector.

Previous reports showed that the government of Japan had provided financial assistance to Laos amounting to more than 60.3 billion kip for various projects.

The Japan-funded projects have seen the construction of eight primary schools, a hospital, four dispensaries, and improvement of the 20km 1H road linking Thateng district in Xekong province to Saravan province among others.

In addition, the government of Vietnam has extended significant assistance to Laos for human resource development.

Source: Vientiane Times

PM to Attend Development Triangle Summit in Cambodia

Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith will lead a Lao delegation to attend the 9th Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam (CLV) Development Triangle Area Summit, taking place from November 22-24 in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

The participation of Mr Thongloun and his delegation is in response to an invitation from Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

During the summit, leaders will take the opportunity to discuss progress in implementing the master plan on socio-economic development for the triangle development area until 2020.

The three countries will hold talks about the MoU on special preferential policies for the CLV Development Triangle Area, signed during the 8th Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam Development Triangle Area Summit, held in Laos in 2014.

The leaders will also discuss results achieved, especially in infrastructure development; promoting trade, investment and tourism between the three countries; encourage young people’s participation in the Development Triangle Area; and security cooperation, to ensure a secure and stable environment in the region.

The CLV Development Triangle Area, established in 1999, aims to strengthen and promote comprehensive economic cooperation and good friendship between the CLV countries.

Since then, the Development Triangle Area has contributed to political and social security on the borders of the three countries. Border trade has grown and trade regulations and procedures have been simplified.

As of 2013, the average GDP in the Development Triangle Area had grown 10 percent annually and GDP per capita was US$1,340.

The Development Triangle Area covers four Cambodian provinces (Ratanakiri, Stung Treng, Mondulkiri and Kratie), four Lao provinces (Attapeu, Saravan, Xekong and Champassak), and five Vietnamese provinces (Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Dak Nong and Binh Phuoc).

Laos and Vietnam realised the target of achieving a two-way trade volume of US$2 billion in 2015 compared to an estimated US$1.5 billion this year.

Laos and Cambodia agreed to promote investment and trade cooperation between their neighbouring provinces after the value of bilateral trade reached US$24.5 million last year.


Source: Vientiane Times

New Border Crossings between Laos, Cambodia to Boost Trade and Investment

Laos and Cambodia have agreed to open new border crossings to link the two nations more closely and enhance trade and investment cooperation.

The plans were agreed to during Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith’s meeting with his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen in Phnom Penh in June.

Delegates from the two countries visited the field sites from November 2 to 4 to see where the planned new bridge and border crossings will link Laos and Cambodia.

The Lao side was led by Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr Saleumxay Kommasith, while the Cambodian side was led by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr Long Visalo.

The two countries plan to build a 145-metre bridge across the Xe Lam Phao River in Mounlapamok district, Champassak province, to connect to northern Cambodia.

A 78-kilometre road linking Mounlapamok district to the Xe Lam Phao bridge is also planned, according to the agreement between the two countries’ prime ministers.

The joint action delegates of the two countries also visited a new border checkpoint in the area of Veunyang village, Mounlapamok district and the Veunkham border in Khong district, Champassak province. The committees also continued their survey to Xe Pien border (border-48) in Hadyai village, Sanamxay district, Attapeu province.

After completing the joint survey, the delegates shared their ideas before the details were handed over to the leaders of both countries to make a decision.

Both parties believe the new border crossings and bridge will boost tourism and economic development as well as make people-to-people exchanges easier, especially among those living in nearby areas.

Both nations are planning to open a border crossing linking the Nong Nok Khiene area in Khong district, Champassak province, and the Trapeang Kriel area in Cambodia’s Stung Treng province, which is scheduled to officially open this month.

Laos and Cambodia also agreed to promote investment and trade cooperation between their neighbouring provinces after the value of bilateral trade reached US$24.5 million last year.

In the field of education, it was agreed to increase the number of government-to-government bachelor degree exchange scholarships to 15 annually.

In addition, the two countries will continue to cooperate in border security and prevent the illegal trade in timber and drugs in border areas. They also agreed to speed up border demarcation.


Source: Vientiane Times

Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia Eye Social Sciences Boost

Delegates and dialogue partners from Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia yesterday discussed human resources development in the field of social sciences in the context of global integration.