Lao PDR-PRC Expressway to Improve Connectivity and Boost Investment
The planned Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR)-People’s Republic of China (PRC) expressway aims to improve the transport of goods and people, promote production, and boost commerce, investment, tourism and services, in line with the Government of Lao PDR's objectives. It spans 440 kilometers and comprises four sections in total. Section 1 running between Vientiane and Vangvieng, is already in use.
The Laos-China Joint Expressway Development Co., Ltd. noted that survey for the remaining three sections of the expressway: (i) section 2, Vangvieng – Luang Prabang (estimated to cost around $3.2 billion); (ii) section 3, Luang Prabang – Oudomxay (estimated to cost around $2.89 billion); and (iii) section 4, Oudomxay – Boten in Luang Namtha province, near the PRC border (estimated to cost around $1.6 billion) has been completed. A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed for construction funding. Construction is estimated to take 10 years.
In 2017, Lao PDR and the PRC signed the project agreement for the expressway as a cooperation project under the PRC's “One Belt, One Road” Initiative. It is symbolic of the friendship between the two countries.