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The developer and operator of the Thanaleng Dry Port, a major integrated logistics centre in Laos, on Tuesday celebrated its accomplishments in International Finance Corporation (IFC) financing, reflecting the project’s productive use of the loan.

The dry port, located in the Vientiane Logistics Park, in June 2022 secured a financing package of US$67 million from lenders, with the IFC as the lead arranger to fund the development, construction, and equipment costs of the strategic project.

Addressing a ceremony to mark this achievement, the President of the Thanaleng Dry Port Sole Co., Ltd., Dr Chanthone Sitthixay, said his team had worked hard and achieved the hard-won task that eventually met the IFC’s financing requirements.

“As a local Lao company, we know and understand that it would be difficult to work and meet the standards of the IFC,” Dr Chanthone said.
“But we worked closely with the IFC team and were able to adapt our system, management and structure to finally meet their requirements and become the first local Lao company to achieve financing through the IFC.”

Opening for service in December 2021, the US$727 million Thanaleng Dry Port and Vientiane Logistics Park, operated and developed in the Lao capital, is a converging point for the Laos-China and Laos-Thailand railways. The dry port and the rail links it houses is becoming an increasingly important trade gateway between Southeast Asia and China, and can also access the European market through other rail networks.

Dr Chanthone said the support from the IFC and the Lao government was critically important in leading to the accomplishments of the dry port, which has contributed significantly to making Laos an important logistics connector in the region.

“Our company is very glad to be able to reach many important milestones which include the development of logistics infrastructure to help transform Laos from a landlocked to a land-link country,” the Lao business tycoon said. IFC Upstream Infrastructure Development Manager, Victoria Delmon, said the IFC team has worked with and helped the Lao local company to comply with IFC  performance standards and attract international financing.

“We could come alongside them, support them and help them to really build an international standard project,” she said.
“I hope that this is the beginning of several steps … to realise the dream that you and the government of Laos have come together to develop.”

Also speaking at the ceremony, Deputy Minister of Finance Bounpone Vannachit said the dry port has made an important contribution to Laos’ landlocked-to-land link transformation.
Improved logistics connectivity and services, he added, has boosted trade and attracted more investment, thus creating a sustainable revenue base for Laos while also maximising revenue collection for the state budget.

“May I congratulate the efforts of the company and the IFC support and the support from all sectors that have made this project accomplish in accordance with the plan,” the deputy minister said.

During the event, the IFC presented trophies to 11 executives of the dry port in recognition of their contributions, which have seen the project deliver fruitful outcomes so far.
The awardees included the President of the Thanaleng Dry Port Sole Co., Ltd., Dr Chanthone Sitthixay, his Vice President Viengkhone Sitthixay, and company Managing Director Sakhone Philangam.

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