Published on : Thursday, August 24, 2017
Authorities have given approval for a Chinese company for developing an area close to the Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge crossing the Mekong River in Bokeo as part of urban development in the province. This US$100-million project will be built on a 13-hectare site with a concession period of 50 years. It will be a trade and tourism development zone.
A concession agreement was signed in the province last week between representatives from the Chinese company and provincial authorities.
Director of the Bokeo provincial Department of Planning and Investment, Buasavath Inthavanh, represented the Lao side in signing the agreement. The project in Huayxai district will comprise a shopping centre, duty free outlet, warehouses, currency exchange unit, public park, tourists’ viewpoint, river port, hotel, restaurants and bus station.
Buasavath said, “The Chinese group will start construction right away, but if they don’t start within 90 days they need to report it to our authorities. We have learned that this company has a strong background as they have carried out a number of urban development projects in southern China, and hopefully this project in Bokeo will be realised.”
He said that this project is not only aimed towards converting the area near the bridge into a new town, but also for attracting more tourists to the province and boost economic growth. Since the fourth bridge linking Laos and Thailand across the Mekong River opened in 2013, more visitors and vehicles carrying goods between China and Thailand have started using this route.
Officials said the province could become a trade and tourism hub in the northern region if facilities were properly developed for visitors and entrepreneurs.