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Thailand, Laos open bridge to boost trade ties

THAILAND: Thailand and Laos opened a 1.6-kilometer (1 mile) bridge Wednesday that connects the two Southeast Asian neighbors as part of a project to improve transportation and trade among countries across the Mekong Delta region.

The 2.5 billion baht (US$70 million; euro54 million) bridge spans the Mekong River to connect Thailand's northeastern Mukdahan province with Laos's Savannakhet province.

It is part of a regional effort to link Thailand and Myanmar, via Laos, to the Vietnamese port city of Danang on the South China Sea.

Thai Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont, who attended the opening ceremony with Lao Vice President Boungnang Vorachit, said the bridge would "improve transportation of goods, strengthen economic cooperation and trade ties" across the Mekong region.

It is the second bridge linking the two countries. A bridge that opened in 1994 connects Thailand's northeastern Nong Khai province with Laos' capital, Vientiane.

BANGKOK, Wednesday, AP

 

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