It is envisioned that the Thanaleng Dry Port (TDP) and Vientiane Logistics Park (VLP) will become transport links for Asean and the world, the project developer has told visiting Japanese diplomats and trade representatives.
Ambassador of Japan Takewaka Keizo, Chief Representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Laos Office Nagase Toshio, Chief Representative of the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) Iwakami Katsuichi, and their entourage visited the project on Thursday to learn about its concept and development progress.
Under construction in Dongphosy village, Hadxaifong district, Vientiane, the TDP and VLP are part of the Lao National Logistics Strategy that will help transform Laos from being landlocked to a land-linked country, Thanaleng Dry Port Managing Director Sakhone Philangam told the visiting guests.
Located near the first Laos-Thailand Mekong Friendship Bridge and Laos-Thailand railway station, which will connect to the Laos-China railway, the flagship integrated logistics project is strategically located to become a transport connecting point.
“We are a multimodal transport connector for Asean and the world,” said Mr Sakhone when describing the project’s vision to the guests.
Welcoming the guests was also former Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office and current President of the Executive Board of Strategy and Planning in PTL Holding Company Limited, Mr Alounkeo Kittikhoun.
Mr Sakhone said the project’s concept is also to serve as a border checkpoint similar to a seaport-based or airport-based transit area or international arrival zone where procedures are streamlined to facilitate the free flow of trucks and goods.
“The aim is to have a free flow of trucks arriving and offloading containers like an aircraft arriving, meaning you don’t have to stamp anything to allow the smooth flow of vehicles, people, cargo and containers, and you turn back,” Mr Sakhone said.
“The development will be along the lines of a port concept based on the international border for an airport.”
Starting construction last year, the project expects to launch soft opening this month.
Now operating two companies providing transport services from Thailand’s Laem Chabang port to Laos via train, the developer said the project will reduce the cost of transport from and to Laos.
The Thanaleng Dry Port and Vientiane Logistics Park are expected to reduce cross-border transport costs, especially at the 1st Lao-Thai Friendship Vientiane-Nong Khai border crossing by 40 percent from current prices by 2025.
As part of the Laos Logistics Link, the TDP and VLP will connect to a number of mega trade infrastructure projects that are also part of the LLL. These include the Vung Ang seaport in Vietnam’s central Ha Tinh province, which the Lao and Vietnamese governments have agreed to jointly develop, the planned railway to link the Lao capital of Vientiane with the Vung Ang seaport, and the 2,000MV coal-fired power plant in central Khammuan province.
Being developed on a 382-hectare site, the US$727 million project will provide business opportunities such as access to global supply chains with efficient logistics, Head of the VLP’s Investment Promotion Unit Viphalath Jinnalard said.
She added that businesses operating here would enjoy a number of tax incentives, trade privileges, relaxed legal requirements and one-stop service facilitation, thus boosting their business competitiveness.
1. Thanaleng Dry Port (TDP): The dry port acts as the centre of international import and export trade with all categories of customs operations. Importantly, quality equipment, vehicles and warehouse systems will be installed professionally to enable the processing of larger numbers of containers. Use of the Terminal Operation System (TOS) will guarantee the best service in terms of speed, security and reliability.
2. Tank Farm: This facility will store liquid bulk cargoes for importing and storing fuel from Thailand and will serve as a fuel distribution centre for Laos. Diesel and petroleum products will arrive at the tank from a dedicated rail yard and pipeline.
3. Logistics Park: The main service provided by the Logistics Park is a warehousing and distribution centre which offers goods storage, consolidation, distribution, inventory management, and warehouse management.
4. Free Trade Zone (FTZ): The main business activities in the zone are the HALAL Hub and Agriculture Production Park, Technology Park, Office Zone, SME Building Area, Commercial Zone and Landmark (VLP Co., Ltd. office).
5. Export Processing Zone (EPZ): The new destination as a modern and the most dynamic EPZ in the region, this will offer a more competitive business environment and will gear up to become a manufacturing export hub for the Asean and global consumer market.
Ambassador Keizo praised the developers for their determination to bring the project to fruition. The diplomat said the embassy would support the venture by ensuring that Japanese investors were made aware of the project.
The visit aimed to introduce the project to Japanese business operators in order to encourage their investment in the dry port and logistics park.
In March, the developer of the VLP and the TDP, and the Japan External Trade Organisation signed a Memorandum of Cooperation to work together to promote Japanese investment in the Vientiane Logistics Park.