Deputy Prime Minister Somdy Douangdy (centre in front row) and participantsof the meeting pose for a group photo
(KPL) The Lao government is preparing to initiate investment promotion for developing and improving transport infrastructure through the Public Private Partnership mechanism, which is considered as a favorable option.
The statement was made by Deputy Prime Minister Somdy Douangdy at the Intergovernmental Tenth Environmentally Sustainable Transport Forum in Asia (10th SET Forum) in Vientiane on March 14.
The forum is under the theme: 2030 Road Map for Sustainable Transport – Aligning with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This theme is very relevant and timely, especially when the government is promoting regional integration and connectivity and implementing the SDGs at the country level.
Mr Somdy Douangdy highlighted that despite significant progress made in development of transport facilities in many modes including roads, waterways, airways and railways, the country is still facing many challenges due to limited funds to meet with the rapid increase in sector demand.
“Lao PDR is a least developed and landlocked developing country that continues to face many challenges and impediments in the development of infrastructure and quality human resources, among others,” said Mr Somdy.
“It is recognized that by our own geographical location, being landlocked is a handicap characterized by remoteness to the world market, cumbersome transit transport procedures and poor as well as insufficient infrastructure,” Mr Somdy Douangdy added.
The Minister of Public Works and Transport, Mr Bounchanh Sinthavong, said that Lao PDR and the co-organizers expect the SET forum to be a platform to exchange views on good practices and achieve the goal of “Vientiane Declaration on Sustainable Rural Transport towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.
“The transport sector in our country is dominated by the road sub-sector, which represents 98% of total passenger-kilometres travelled, and 86% of freight moved in the country,” said Mr Bounchanh.
“Road transport remains at the core of the country’s policy: ‘From landlocked to land-linked’ and is central to economic development and poverty reduction. Therefore, the road network is the key priority for the transport sector, linking people to resources, markets and public services,” Mr Bounchanh added.
Mr Bambang Susantono, Vice President of the ADB, said, “The Asian Development Bank will provide 1.7 trillion USD to developing infrastructure and US$ 600 million to transportation in Asia and the Pacific.”