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Though rail networks, Mongolia can now enjoy improved logistics and transport links with Southeast Asia through Laos and its Thanaleng Dry Port, where cost-effective logistics are now available

A high-level delegation from Mongolia on Friday visited the Thanaleng Dry Port in Vientiane to learn how Laos’ first integrated logistics project is facilitating cost-effective logistics and transport services that benefit the nearby regions.

Member of the Mongolian State Great Khural and President of the Mongolia-Laos Parliamentary Friendship Committee, Mr Baatarbileg Yondonperenlei and his delegation toured the dry port and its associated Vientiane Logistics Park in the Lao capital.

Open for business since December 2021, the multimodal-transport-mode dry port houses extensions of the Laos-Thailand and Laos-China railways, thus positioning itself as an important gateway between Southeast Asia and China.

And through the China-Europe rail network, freight can be shipped between Southeast Asia and Europe in a much shorter time.
“We have set a target to make the Thanaleng Dry Port a connecting point between Asean, China and the world,” the dry port’s Managing Director, Mr Sakhone Philangam, told the guests.

Already, freight from Russia has passed through Mongolia’s Zamiin-Uud dry port on the way to the Thanaleng Dry Port and further to Malaysia.

“Rail transport has brought us closer. It is a safe form of transport and exceedingly fast,” Mr Sakhone said.
The director added that Thanaleng authorities can issue transnational transport documents to allow the onward shipment of freight to various dry ports and sea ports in the region.

To broaden logistics and transport cooperation and links, Mr Sakhone told the guests he had just returned from a visit to China last week, where his team met with Chinese authorities overseeing dry ports in Kunming and Hunan.

He also plans to visit two other two dry ports – one near Mongolia and another in Kazakhstan – to explore ways to enhance cooperation and improve services.

The US$727 million dry port and logistics park in Vientiane is part of the packaged Lao Logistics Link (LLL) project, which the Petroleum Trading Lao Public Company (PetroTrade) has been authorised to partner with the Lao and Vietnamese governments to develop and operate.
The LLL project also includes the Vung Ang seaport in Vietnam’s central Ha Tinh province and a planned railway to link the seaport with the dry port.

Passing through the Vung Ang seaport, freight can reach markets in the Pacific region.
To tap trade and investment potential, Vientiane Logistics Park Co., Ltd. is also creating specialised investment zones within the dry port and logistics park to encourage more companies to set up business.

They include a tank farm, export processing centre, logistics park, free trade zone, and technology and halal hubs. These zones are expected to become operational by the end of this year.

Manufacturers whose products are at least 40 percent processed in Laos are eligible for Laos country of origin status, which enables privileged access including tariff reductions and exemption to the markets of Laos’ trading partners.

To facilitate and speed up freight shipment to the Chinese market of about 1.4 billion consumers, the dry port developer is working with Chinese authorities to set up a China Certification and Inspection Group (CCIC) representative unit at the dry port to inspect and issue Chinese standard certification. China’s sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) centre will also be set up to certify farm products.

Incoming freight can be inspected at the dry port and thus exported to China directly, according to the director.

“Transport by rail from Vientiane to the Chinese side [border] now takes just four hours,” Mr Sakhone told the visitors.
Also welcoming the guests was Mr Alounkeo Kittikhoun, President of the Executive Board of Strategy and Planning at PTL Holding Company Limited (PTLH), the parent company of PetroTrade.

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