Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport and Laos’s Ministry of Public Works and Transport are set to take the next steps to soon implement the project on building an expressway linking capital cities Hanoi and Vientiane in 2017.

They agreed to work to seek investment and support, firstly for the making of the feasibility study, according to the consensus reached at a bilateral meeting in Hanoi on March 7.

The ministries were also unanimous in coordinating more closely to accelerate the construction of a railway route connecting capital Vientiane of landlocked Laos with Vung Ang port in Vietnam’s central province of Ha Tinh.

In a memorandum of understanding on transport cooperation for 2016-2025 signed between the Vietnamese and Lao governments in September 2015, the two sides defined the Hanoi – Vientiane expressway and the Vientiane – Vung Ang railway route as strategic projects that need to be carried out shortly to boost bilateral trade.

These projects are also hoped to create prerequisites for Laos to become a goods transit centre in the region. They are expected to simultaneously capitalise on Laos’s central location in ASEAN and Vietnam’s maritime advantages.

At the meeting, the two ministries also agreed to facilitate the transit of Lao goods in Vung Ang Port. They will review the one-stop-shop model at Vietnam’s Lao Bao and Laos’s Densavan border gates while immediately considering the application of this model in two other pairs of border gates (Cha Lo – Na Phao, and Cau Treo - Namphao) to smooth the way for Lao goods to Vung Ang Port.

They planned to organise a joint working group to step up the feasibility studies of some road projects in Laos and enhance personnel training and experience sharing.

The ministries concurred in holding some exchanges on the occasion of 55 years of the two countries’ diplomatic ties (September 5, 1962) and 40 years of the signing of the Vietnam – Laos Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation (July 18, 1977).

Noting the ministries’ stronger cooperation, they said transport connectivity between Vietnam and Laos has developed. The two countries have been coordinating to optimise transport links, thus fostering cross-border trade so as to fuel socio-economic development and help consolidate politics and defence-security.-VNA