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Smart City Project Tops Agenda At Monthly Gov’t Meeting

Source: Vientiane Times

A plan to create “smart” and “eco” cities in Luang Namtha, and Oudomxay provinces topped the agenda at the government’s monthly meeting for October.

Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith presided over the meeting on October 25, at which government members also discussed a draft report on the implementation of this year’s socio-economic development plan, the budget and monetary plans, and plans for next year.

A Memorandum of Understanding on a feasibility study for the development of smart and eco cities in Luang Namtha, and Oudomxay provinces by Thailand’s AMATA Corporation was discussed.

The meeting agreed that sufficient economic analysis had been made for the project, which complied with the government’s direction on investment promotion, domestic production, and development along the Laos-China railway route.

Cabinet members agreed that the Thai investor had a good reputation and sufficient capital, as well as experience in the development of mega projects in Vietnam, Myanmar, and Thailand.

The meeting also noted the company’s willingness to undertake the project in difficult mountainous terrain which lacked infrastructure and facilities, which would add to the investment cost.

“This project will support the use of the Laos-China railway and contribute to the socio-economic development of our country,” a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said.

The meeting assigned the Ministry of Planning and Investment to coordinate with related sectors and local authorities to study the proposals and negotiate with the company to ensure that both Laos and the general public benefited from the scheme.

Any development should avoid harmful environmental and social impacts while ensuring security and social order, as the proposed project will involve compensating people whose land is expropriated.

Government members also discussed progress in bilateral cooperation with Vietnam, China and Cambodia.

The meeting gave guidelines to the related sectors on ways to tackle hindrances in the effective implementation of cooperation projects and the activities that had been agreed to.

Concerning draft reports on the implementation of this year’s socio-economic development plan, budget, monetary plan, and plans for next year, the meeting appointed the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Ministry of Finance, Bank of the Lao PDR, and other agencies to improve the reports before they are submitted to the National Assembly next month.