Laos agrees to reopen border

Laos agrees to reopen border

Thailand and Laos have agreed to soon reopen cross-border checkpoints, government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said on Wednesday.

The decision was made after Lao ambassador to Thailand Seng Soukhathivong paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister and Defence Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha to mark the occasion of his 4.5 years at Government House.

Commenting on a plan by Lao Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh to make an official visit to Thailand in the middle of this year, Gen Prayut said this would be a good opportunity to elevate relations to a strategic partnership for growth and sustainable development, the spokesman said.

The Lao ambassador thanked the government for providing assistance during the flood disaster in 2019 and in the form of Covid-19 medical supplies. Both parties agreed on key issues including a plan to reopen cross-border checkpoints to increase the value of border trade and boost economic recovery.

Gen Prayut called on Vientiane to consider streamlining its customs process and adjust fees collected at the Thanaleng Dry Port and Vientiane Logistics Park, opposite the Nong Khai border, to attract more Thai investors to use the Laos-China railway services.

He also asked the Lao government to consider developing the R12 route connecting the borders of Thailand, Laos and Vietnam, which would benefit local communities, Mr Thanakorn said.

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