Laos says railway to China finished by 2014

BEIJING Tue Dec 7, 2010 12:21pm IST

Related Topics

Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers ride their camels as they rehearse for the "Beating the Retreat" ceremony in New Delhi January 27, 2015. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

"Beating The Retreat" Rehearsals

Rehearsals are on for "Beating the Retreat" ceremony which symbolises retreat after a day on the battlefield, and marks the official end of the Republic Day celebrations.  Slideshow 

BEIJING (Reuters) - The poor and landlocked Southeast Asian nation of Laos expects its rail link with China to be finished by 2014, boosting trade links with its giant neighbour and the rest of Asia, its deputy prime minister said on Tuesday.

The railway is part of a broader plan to connect Kunming city in southwestern China with Singapore, including Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam and Malaysia.

The country's Deputy Prime Minister, Somsavat Lengsavad, told a conference in Beijing that the Laos-to-China part of the railway should start construction early in 2011 and take four years to complete, after the two sides signed an agreement in April.

"To free our country from the least developed status ... our government has invested much in communication infrastructure development in order to complement both intra-ASEAN and ASEAN-China integration," he said.

"We believe that this project will contribute significantly to the socio-economic development of Laos, as well as to the promotion of economic cooperation between ASEAN and China," Lengsavad added.

The railway will also help with "the masterplan for ASEAN connectivity and the implementation of the ASEAN-China free trade area", he said. It would be a "high speed" line, Lengsavad added, without elaborating.

Laos is already connected to Thailand by rail, though only up to just outside its capital Vientiane.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

A China-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement came into effect in January, forming an economic bloc of 1.9 billion people.

Chinese companies are increasingly involved in logging and hydropower projects in Laos, and Chinese aid has helped build roads, markets and other infrastructure in the country, challenging Laos' traditional close ties with Vietnam.

Bilateral trade between China and Laos grew by more than half in 2009 to $751.8 million.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Ken Wills)

FILED UNDER:
Photo

After wave of QE, onus shifts to leaders to boost economy

DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.

Reuters Showcase

Record Earnings

Record Earnings

Apple iPhone sales trample expectations as profit sets global record  Full Article 

Motor Racing

Motor Racing

Force India to miss Jerez F1 test  Full Article 

'Umrika' At Sundance

'Umrika' At Sundance

From Oscars to Sundance, Sharma and Revolori discuss India's 'Umrika'  Full Article 

Australian Open

Australian Open

Djokovic, Wawrinka set up epic showdown, ill Serena through  Full Article 

India's Male Tenor

India's Male Tenor

India's lone male tenor aims to sing opera in local key  Full Article 

Hostage Case

Hostage Case

Jordan proposes prisoner swap, fate of Japanese IS hostage unclear  Full Article 

U.S. Blizzard

U.S. Blizzard

Blizzard hits Boston and New England, spares New York despite forecasts.  Full Article 

Spying Row

Spying Row

Spying program leaked by Snowden is tied to campaign in many countries.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage