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A Lao business tycoon has told visiting Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet that his company is interested in developing a logistics park and dry port in Cambodia to create logistics links with his Thanaleng Dry Port in Vientiane and the rest of the region and the world.

Chairman of the conglomerate PTL Holding Co., Ltd., Dr Chanthone Sitthixay, the developer and operator of the Thanaleng Dry Port and Vientiane Logistics Park, made the proposal on Tuesday during a visit by PM Manet to the dry port, who supported the idea.

The Cambodian leader visited Laos’ integrated logistics centre as part of his official trip to the country on March 25-26 at the invitation of his Lao counterpart Sonexay Siphandone.
Complemented by the Laos-China and Laos-Thailand railways, which converge at the Thanaleng Dry Dry Port, this trade route links Southeast Asia to China and Europe by rail through cost-effective logistics, thus boosting trade and generating more revenue for the state budget, Dr Chanthone said.

In response to Dr Chanthone’s remarks, PM Manet, through an interpreter, expressed support, saying that having cost effective logistics in place is critically important.
Although Cambodia has sea ports, multimodal transport including sea, land and air routes are all important, the PM added.

“Any channel where we foresee an opportunity, we should take. We don’t stick to just a single channel,” PM Manet said.
Meeting Lao PM Sonexay Siphandone on Monday and President Thongloun Sisoulith on Tuesday, the Cambodian PM told the Lao investor that he and the Lao leaders touched on the need to forge ahead with a planned highway linking Laos and Cambodia, while a rail link could be the next plan.

Regarding Dr Chanthone’s willingness to develop a logistics park and dry port in Cambodia, the Cambodian side said the proposal was welcomed.

Elaborating on the opportunities offered by the Thanaleng Dry Port, Dr Chanthone said the transport of freight by rail from Southeast Asia to Chinese and European markets is now significantly faster.
“Previously, transporting goods from Laos to China (by road) took 15 days, but this has now been cut to just one day,”  said Dr Chanthone, who is also Chairman of the Vientiane Logistics Park Co., Ltd. He added that the shipment of cargo from Laos by rail to Europe has now been cut to just 14 days from 45 days previously.
With such efficient logistics, transport and related costs are cut by more than 40 percent.
“This has turned Laos into a transport and trade link, thus realising the government’s effort to transform landlocked Laos into a landlink country,” the chairman said.
Thanks to the growing opportunities, more and more entrepreneurs in the region are using this trade route to transport their cargo.
In 2022, the dry port handled cross-border freight weighing more than 2 million tonnes, with the volume increasing to more than 3 million tonnes in 2023.
The Vice Chairman of Vientiane Logistics Park Co., Ltd., Viengkhone Sitthixay, said Cambodia’s railway already links to Thailand’s network, which etxends to the Thanaleng Dry Port and beyond.
Dr Chanthone told PM Manet that his company is also planning to build two more dry ports in the central province of Borikhamxay and the northern province of Bokeo, which would each link to the logistics networks of other countries in the region.
Opening for service in December 2021, the US$727 million Thanaleng Dry Port and Vientiane Logistics Park have been developed in the form of a public-private partnership, partially financed by a loan from the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
The dry port and logistics park are part of the Lao Logistics Link project, which is being developed by PTL Holding Company Limited in partnership with the Lao and Vietnamese governments. The project includes the Vung Ang seaport in Vietnam’s central Ha Tinh province, and a planned railway linking the seaport to the Thanaleng Dry Port.

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