Laos-China railway: authorities urge use of Lao sub-contractors, materials
Chinese contractors have been asked to employ Lao technicians and companies and use materials available locally in the construction of the Laos-China railway.
Mr Lattanamany Khounnivong ( centre ) and Mr Zhao Xiang ( right ) address the meeting yesterday.
Chairman of the Laos-China Railway Project Management C ommittee, Mr Lattanamany Khounnivong, yesterday called for Chinese contractors to hire Lao companies as sub-contractors for the construction of the US$5.8 billion project .
Mr Lattanamany, who is Deputy Minister of Public Works and Transport, made the comment at a meeting in Vientiane to issue guidelines for the construction of the 417km railway, which will link Vientiane to the Chinese border.
Representatives from Chinese contractors, consulting firms, Laos-China Railway Co., Ltd. and various officials attended the meeting.
Mr Lattanamany suggested that contractors promptly submit proposals requesting the import of machinery, materials and other items needed for construction so that Lao authorities can facilitate the process.
He called for contractors and consulting firms to apply a high level of professional ethics during the course of construction so the railway would be of a high standard and a symbol of friendship and cooperation between Laos and China.
Yesterday's meeting paved the way for construction following the official launch of construction last month. Local media reported recently that Chinese workers and technicians as well as machinery were already in Laos to carry out the work.
Six Chinese contractors will carry out construction of the railway, which is expected to be complete by the end of 2021.
General Manager of the Laos-China Railway Co., Ltd. Mr Zhao Xiang told the meeting that the leaders of the parties and governments of Laos and China attach great importance to the project, which will further the development of integrated transport infrastructure.
He spoke about the significance of the project, which will be part of the Kunming-Singapore regional railway and China's One Belt, One Road initiative, saying it would also help to turn Laos from a landlocked country into a land link within the region.
“Once construction is complete, it will improve Laos' transport system and facilitate people-to-people visits,” he said.
“It will also cut transport costs and boost trade and cultural exchanges between Laos and China.”
Mr Zhao Xiang told the contractors to do their best to ensure that construction is of a high standard and completed as scheduled, while ensuring safety in every aspect of the work.
He asked the contractors and workers to comply with Lao laws, to respect local customs and culture and not to impact adversely on villagers, and to ensure the environment is protected during the course of construction.
The Lao and Chinese governments began negotiations to jointly build the railway in 2010. An official groundbreaking ceremony took place on December 2, 2015, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Lao People's Democratic Republic.
By Souksakhone Vaenkeo
(Latest Update January 12, 2017)