Lao’s urban development received $52m funding boost

16 Nov 15

A $52m project will see two towns in Lao benefit from improved infrastructure and urban services by the end of 2020.

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Bridge in Laos

Bridge in Lao. Credit: istock

 

The project is being financed by a $37m loan from the Asian Development Bank’s concessional Asian Development Fund, $10m in co-financing will be provided by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Infrastructure Fund and a further $5m will come from the government of Lao itself.

Rudolf Frauendorfer, lead urban development specialist with ADB’s Southeast Asia Regional Department, said: “Developing these towns along the north-south economic corridor ‒ one of the three main economic corridors within the Greater Mekong Subregion ‒ will allow them to maximise the benefits of increased trade and traffic flows, and thus strengthen their competitiveness to deliver wider economic growth across the region.

“The project will support the linking of the economies of Houayxay and Luang Namtha to markets in Myanmar, China and Thailand.”

The towns, Houayxay and Luang Namtha, are located along the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) North-South economic corridor, which connects China in the North to Thailand in the South.

The ADB also recently approved a $100m loan to Myanmar to develop the “missing link” of the GMS East-West Corridor.

The improvements are part of the second phase of the GMS Corridor Towns Development Project, which works to improve the infrastructure and services of towns along the corridor and turn them into centres of investment and growth.

The town’s transformation will be achieved by strengthening infrastructure links, facilitating cross-border investment, tourism and trade, enhancing private sector participation and competitiveness and by developing human resources.

In Houayxay the funds will be used to construct a 2km riverside walkway, enhancing access to the urban area, and a 1km embankment to protect the town against flooding.

Other improvements include: the rehabilitation of the river port to increase boat traffic; the development of a 3.5 hectare ecological park for residents and tourists; restoration of an existing dump site; and the upgrade of over 20km of priority roads, drainage channels and wastewater drains.

Luang Namtha, one of the country’s poorest provinces, will benefit from the rehabilitation of a landfill, the improvement of 20km of roads and wastewater drains, the upgrade of three existing community recreation facilities for sport and tourism and the construction of a bridge for heavy trucks to cross the Nam Tha River.

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