Thanaleng Dry Port, Vientiane Logistics Park to drive Lao economy, PM’s aides told
The Thanaleng Dry Port (TDP) and Vientiane Logistics Park (VLP) will be important drivers of Lao economic development, the project developer has told government aides.
The Board of Advisors to Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh, led by the board’s Chairman, Mr Chanthaboun Lattanavong, on Friday visited the US$727 million project, which is under construction in Vientiane.
Chairman of the Vientiane Logistics Park Co., Ltd., Mr Chanthone Sitthixay, and TDP Managing Director Sakhone Philangam welcomed the aides and briefed them about the project.
Regional-global transport hub
Given its strategic importance of being a transport hub between Laos, the region and the world, the developer said the project, once operational, would be one of the main forces in driving substantial economic growth.
Set to launch its soft opening next month, the project is part of the Lao National Logistics Strategy and Laos Logistics Link, which will help transform Laos from being landlocked to a land-linked country.
Planned to connect to the Laos-China Railway, which is slated to open for services in December this year, the Thanaleng Dry Port and Vientiane Logistics Park will link to the intended global transport network leading to Europe via the railway.
Goods transport by the railway from Vientiane or Southeast Asia to Europe via China would take just over 10 days – much shorter than 45 days by sea. Thus, Laos is projected to become an important new link in the supply chain, the developer said.
Initially, it is estimated that at least 300,000 containers from Laos, mainly from the TDP, will be shipped by rail to Europe via China each year. Later, shipments could rise to somewhere between 1.2 and 1.8 million containers a year.
As part of the Laos Logistics Link – which also includes the Vung Ang seaport in Vietnam’s central Ha Tinh province and a planned railway linking Vientiane with the seaport – the TDP and VLP are also set to connect to other regional transport routes leading to countries such as southern China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Russia, the Philippines and Indonesia.
Being developed on 382 hectares in Dongphosy village, Hadxaifong district, the project is located near the first Laos-Thailand Mekong Friendship Bridge and will connect to the Laos-Thailand railway station.
The developer said the project is expected to directly generate a huge amount of revenue to the state budget from the fees charged for various services.
Cutting transport costs
Set to reduce transport costs and cut transport times through streamlined procedures, the developer and state authorities believe that the project will attract a significant amount of investment, thus being a huge boost to the Lao economy.
Cross-border transport costs, especially at the first Laos-Thailand Mekong Friendship Bridge, are expected to fall by 40 percent from current prices by 2025.
The developer is accelerating the construction of a number of facilities including roads, warehouses and offices, in readiness for the grand opening slated for November. Construction is currently more than 80 percent complete.
Investment opportunities and incentives
The Vientiane Logistics Park comprises five zones which offer various investment opportunities for business operators. The zones are as follows:
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 warehouses 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.
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.
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).
Export Processing Zone (EPZ): The new destination as a modern and the most dynamic EPZ in the region, it will offer a more competitive business environment and will gear up to become a manufacturing export hub for the Asean and global consumer market.
Investors are expected to benefit from many incentives including tax breaks. Mr Chanthaboun said he was glad to have witnessed the work being done to get the project up and running and praised the developer for striving to bring it to fruition. He expressed the hope that the project would bring more foreign investment into Laos.