Minister of Industry and Commerce Dr Khampheng Saysompheng on Tuesday visited the Thanaleng Dry Port (TDP) and Vientiane Logistics Park (VLP) and praised the project, saying it would significantly facilitate transport, logistics and trade in Laos.
The visit comes as the local developer of the US$727 million project – which is under construction in Dongphosy village, Hadxaifong district, Vientiane – is preparing to launch a soft opening later this month.
Shortly after being briefed about the venture, the minister expressed support for the project to be developed in an environmentally-friendly and sustainable manner.
Also weIcoming the guests was former Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office and current President of the Executive Board of Strategy and Planning at PTL Holding Company Limited, Mr Alounkeo Kittikhoun.
The TDP and VLP are part of the Lao National Logistics Strategy and Laos Logistics Link that will help transform Laos from being landlocked to a land-linked country.
Being a landlocked country, Laos needs to have a complex transport infrastructure that connects to international transport networks, TDP Managing Director Sakhone Philangam told the minister and his delegation.
“We will facilitate trade and transport,” he said, referring to supporting operations that include trade documentation.
Dr Khampheng Saysompheng praises the development of the project
The TDP has been categorised by the United Nations as a class-one dry port and will be the second of its kind in Asia located at a border. This will enable the facility to provide dry port and immigration services to ease cross-border transport.
The current absence of an integrated dry port and streamlined procedures has made transport and related logistics time-consuming and costly, Mr Sakhone said, adding that his project aimed to address these shortcomings.
The project’s concept is to also serve as a border checkpoint similar to a seaport-based or airport-based transit area or international arrival zone where procedures are streamlined to enable the free flow of trucks and goods. This means that arrivals don’t require a stamp, allowing the smooth flow of vehicles, people, cargo and containers.
Located near the 1st Lao-Thai Mekong Friendship Bridge, the TDP and VLP are expected to reduce cross-border transport costs, especially at the Friendship Vientiane-Nong Khai border crossing, by 40 percent from current prices by 2025.
Located next to the Laos-Thailand railway station, which will also connect to the Laos-China railway and Vung Ang seaport in Vietnam’s central Ha Tinh province via the planned railway to link the Lao capital of Vientiane with the Vung Ang seaport, the TDP and VLP are well positioned to become transport connectors within the region and beyond.
In this regard, the developer said it is envisioned that the TDP and VLP will become transport links for Asean and the world.
VLP Vice President, Mr Tee Chee Seng told the minister the project would provide a direct link to international transport networks.
With the Laos-China railway linking Vientiane to the Chinese border in Kunming and scheduled to open on December 2, the TDP and VLP will connect to the rail transport system to Kunming and onwards to China’s Chongqing and beyond that to Germany in Europe.
Currently, products made in countries in the region are exported to Europe and other areas by sea, with the seaport in Singapore as the transport hub.
Mr Tee Chee Seng said he was optimistic that when the Laos-China railway is operational, Laos will become a hub for the export of goods manufactured in countries in the region to many parts of the world including Europe via the railway.
Construction of the dry port is expected to be complete by December this year, while the logistics park is scheduled for completion by the third quarter of 2022, Chairman of the Vientiane Logistics Park Co., Ltd., Mr Chanthone Sitthixay, told the minister.
Dr Khampheng praised the developers for their determination to bring the project to fruition and promised to support its realisation.
He said the project was timely given that Laos’ transport infrastructure is ready to support the project, including the Laos-China railway. The Vientiane-Vung Ang railway is also planned.
The Vientiane Logistics Park is the onIy comprehensive logistics park in Vientiane and comprises five zones in one location as follows:
Mr Chanthone Sitthixay (left) guides Dr Khampheng Saysompheng to visit construction site of the project
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 will guarantee the best service in terms of speed, security and reliability.
2. Tank Farm: This facility will store liquid buIk 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, consoIidation, 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 globaI consumer market.