Although Laos is a communist state, in the past two decades, successive governments have sought to open the economy to foreign trade and investment. Yet the United States has not historically had strong economic or diplomatic ties with Laos.
The official inauguration of the Laos-China railway took place on December 3. This historic event is not only a milestone in Laos’ efforts to shake off the shackles of its landlocked status by becoming a land bridge within the region but will create a lot of development opportunities and enable Laos, one of the least developed countries in the region, to thrive in coming decades.
Analysts worry about the country’s blurry framework governing crypto trading and the impact of mining on Laos’ natural resources.
Railways built with BRI financing, including in Kenya and Ethiopia, have struggled to repay Chinese loans. Beijing has started offering lower-cost loans and forgiving some following complaints about debt loads for poor countries.
The missing link is a connection through Thailand, which Bangkok does not seem in any rush to complete
The operation of the long-awaited China-Laos railway should be a significant boost not only to Laos’ economy by enhancing its tourism and trade with China, but also to the economy of the entire Lancang-Mekong region, which includes Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam and Thailand, by securing an important transport junction in the region.
Laos, an isolated, mountainous nation of 7 million people wedged between China, Vietnam and Thailand, is opening a $5.9 billion railway its leaders hope will energize its economy, but it may pile on dangerously high debt
Under the agreement signed in 2019, Cambodia buys 2,400 mW of power from Laos, with the first phase starting in 2024, followed by the second phase, third phase, and foutrh phase in 2025, 2026, and 2027, respectively.
“When you look at the juxtaposition of this super modern railway and the countryside it is passing through – it’s very stark. One does wonder whether the Laos people will be the beneficiaries?”
The MRC Council yesterday welcomed the appointment of Dr. Anoulak Kittikhoun of Lao nationality as the 3rd Riparian CEO of the MRC Secretariat for the 2022–2024 tenure. He is the first Lao national to be appointed to the position.