Prime Ministers of Lao PDR and Thailand Discuss Cooperation on Health and Energy

Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith and Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-O-Cha discussed bolstering friendly neighborhood ties, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation, and energy trade in a phone call. The two leaders underscored how enhancing bilateral relations would benefit the two countries, and contribute to peace, stability, and cooperation for development in the region. They also agreed that closer cooperation will help them deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and boost trade and investment to help restore their economies. The call also dis

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The Thai-Lao Friendship bridge built with Australian funding, crossing the Mekong River. Photo by Australia DFAT (CC BY 2.0) .

Construction of the Fifth Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge Begins

The fifth Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge across the Mekong River is being constructed, following the signing of the construction agreement in December 2020. It will connect Bolikhamxay province in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) and Bueng Kan in Thailand. The project is set to transform Bolikhamxay into a regional trade hub and transit route for Lao PDR, Thailand, and Viet Nam. It could potentially increase the subregion's tourism and attract more trade and investment for Lao PDR. 

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Cambodia Approves Two 500 kV Transmission Line Projects

The Government of Cambodia’s Council of Ministers approved two 500 kilovolt (kV) transmission line investment projects in (i) Phnom Penh to the Cambodia-Lao PDR border, and (ii) Battambang to the Cambodia-Thailand border, to prepare to import electricity from its neighbors. The Government of Cambodia is working on increasing the country’s electricity capacity to improve production and competitiveness.

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Border check point on the Lao PDR side of the Mekong River. Laos and Thailand are now linked by “Friendship Bridge II” completed in 2007. Photo by ADB.

Sixth Thai-Lao PDR Friendship Bridge to Open in 2025

Thailand’s Ministry of Transport is scheduled to complete the 6th Thai-Lao friendship bridge by 2025, according to Mr. Saksayam Chidchob, Thailand Minister of Transport.  This new bridge promises to further enhance border trade and promote tourism between Thailand and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR). 

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The 9th ACMECS Summit Declaration emphasized post-pandemic socio-economic recovery and preparation for future crises. Photo by OCM.

9th ACMECS Summit Declaration Focuses on Post-pandemic Recovery

Leaders of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam adopted the Phnom Penh declaration at the 9th Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) Summit held on 9 December. The declaration emphasizes post-pandemic socio-economic recovery and preparation for future crises and challenges through public health cooperation and enhanced supply chains. ACMECS leaders stressed the importance of vaccine multilateralism to ensure equitable and safe access to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines. 

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COVID-19 equipment donated by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to to Viet Nam. Photo: IAEA Imagebank (CC BY 2.0)

How Universal Health Coverage in Thailand and Viet Nam Helped Mitigate the Impact of COVID-19

Strong commitments toward achieving universal health coverage (UHC) made by some developing member countries of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), including Greater Mekong Subregion members Thailand and Viet Nam, prepared these countries to better manage the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.  

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ADB Supports Thailand’s Green, Social, and Sustainability Bonds for COVID-19 Recovery

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is assisting the Government of Thailand in designing, issuing, and monitoring innovative capital market initiatives as part of the country’s recovery from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in a manner aligned with the 2015 Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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Health workers and Thailand's universal healthcare system. Photo: Public Services International (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Thailand Shares Best Practices and Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Global COVID-19 Index recognized Thailand as the top country in making the most progress toward curbing the spread of the pandemic. In a report published by Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health,Thailand shares its experience in addressing the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak and provides policy lessons to help other countries overcome this disease.

 

Innovative Public Health Strategies

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At the grounbreaking ceremony of the V1-2 wind power plant. Photo by VNA via Viet Nam Plus

Construction of Viet Nam-Thailand Wind Power Plant Begins

The joint venture V1-2 wind power plant between the Truong Thanh Viet Nam Group and the Sermsang Power Corporation Public Company Limited of Thailand launched construction in Tra Vinh, Viet Nam, on 14 August. The 48 MW peak facility consists of 12 wind turbines to be built on 1,220 hectares in the Truong Long Hoa commune, Duyen Hai town. The project is estimated to cost around $96 million (2.23 trillion VND), and is expected to generate around 163 million kWh of electricity each year. 

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