Laos to promote transport infrastructure

2017-03-14 14:39:36 GMT2017-03-14 22:39:36(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

VIENTIANE, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Lao government is preparing to initiate investment promotion for developing and improving transport infrastructure through the Public Private Partnership mechanism, which is considered a favorable option, said Lao Deputy Prime Minister Somdy Douangdy on Tuesday.

Speaking at the Intergovernmental Tenth Regional Environmentally Sustainable Transport Forum in Asia held in Lao capital Vientiane, the official highlighted that despite significant progress made in development of transport facilities in many modes including roads, waterways, airways and railways, the country is still facing many challenges due to limited funds to meet with the rapid increase in sector demand.

"Laos is a least developed and landlocked developing country that continues to face many challenges and impediments in the development of infrastructure and quality human resources, among others," Somdy was quoted by Lao state-run news agency KPL as saying.

"It is recognized that by our own geographical location, being landlocked is a handicap characterized by remoteness to the world market, cumbersome transit transport procedures and poor as well as insufficient infrastructure," he added.

The forum was held under the theme "2030 Road Map for Sustainable Transport - Aligning with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)". The theme is very relevant and timely, especially when the government is promoting regional integration and connectivity and implementing the SDGs at the country level.

Lao Minister of Public Works and Transport Bounchanh Sinthavong said that Laos and the co-organizers expect the forum to be a platform to exchange views on good practices and achieve the goal of "Vientiane Declaration on Sustainable Rural Transport towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development".

"The transport sector in our country is dominated by the road sub-sector, which represents 98 percent of total passenger-kilometers travelled, and 86 percent of freight moved in the country," said Bounchanh.

"Road transport remains at the core of the country's policy of from landlocked to land-linked' and is central to economic development and poverty reduction. Therefore, the road network is the key priority for the transport sector, linking people to resources, markets and public services," Bounchanh added.

Meanwhile, Bambang Susantono, Vice President of the Asian Development Bank said at the forum that the bank will provide 1.7 trillion U.S. dollars to developing infrastructure and 600 million U.S. dollars to transportation in Asia and the Pacific.

The forum is scheduled to last until Thursday.