Thai-Laos Infrastructure Developments
#1 -  The first Thai- Laos Friendship Bridge:
connects Nong Khai (Thailand) with Vientiane (Laos)

#2 -  The secondThai- Laos Friendship Bridge:
connects Mukdahan (Thailand) with Savarnakhet (Laos)

#3 -  The third Thai- Laos Friendship Bridge:
connects Loei (Thailand) with Namheung, a route to Luang Prabang (Laos)

#4 -  The forth Thai- Laos Friendship Bridge:
connects Nakhon Phanom(Thailand) with Khammuan (Laos) - underconstruction

#5 -  The fifth Thai- Laos Friendship Bridge:
connects Chiangrai (Thailand) with Eokeo, a route to Luang Namtha (Laos), Boten and Mohan in Kunming, China - to be built

Thailand and Laos celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Thai-Lao Association for Friendship in mid 2013. Thailand is Laos’ top trade partner, with an annual bilateral trade value of 150 billion baht, reported the Vientiane Post.

The fifth Thai-lao friendship bridge, which spans the Mekong River linking Chiang Rai province's Chiang Khong with Huy Xai in Laos is being constructed at a cost of 1.48 billion Baht and was funded by the governments of China and Thailand, said the Bangkok Post. The bridge is scheduled to open at the end of 2013. The first Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge crossing the Mekong River that links Nong Khai province with Laos’s Vientiane province, the Laos Capital, was funded by Australia.

Another new Mekong bridge is the one linking two provinces in Laos, said the Vientiane post.  The 620-metre span between Xayaboury and Luang Prabang provinces will also benefit Thailand, by facilitating land travellers from Loei and Nan provinces to the former royal capital - Luang Prabang, a main tourist attraction in Laos.  The bridge will replace ferry services used to connect the two Lao provinces, the official added. Construction on the bridge began in 2009, with loans from South Korea.

Thailand will build four high-speed train lines, one of them from Bangkok to Nong Khai province. That route will then be linked throughl Vientiane and on southern China. China has offered to build the railway project in Laos but the project is being delayed because of disputes about the Chinese support. The first phase of the Nong Khai train will be laid to Nakhon Ratchasima province, reported the Bangkok Post.

The Thai and Laos governments also agreed to tackle drugs, bolster trade and investment on Roads 8 and 12 in Laos, fight human trafficking and speed up border demarcation. The two roads - Road 8 and 12, in Laos, are connected to Thailand via the Mekong River bridge in Nakhon Phanom province.  Thailand also upgraded the Phudu crossing in Ban Khok district of Uttaradit province from a temporary checkpoint to a permanent one in mid 2013. The checkpoint in the northern province links Thailand with Laos’ Xayabouri province. Currently, about 100,000 tourists used this crossing annually.

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