Lao NEWS on LNTV New Mekong bridge opens to use aiming to boost trade, investment.24/11/2014

VO New Mekong bridge opens to use aiming to boost trade, investment in Champassak
INTRO: The opening of a 718-metre bridge across the Mekong River, linking Khong Island to the mainland of Champassak province, is set to boost trade, investment and tourism and drive growth in the southern region.
STORY: Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong, Chinese Ambassador to Laos Guan Huabing and other officials from Laos and China yesterday attended the official opening of the bridge, which was largely funded by the Chinese government.
The new bridge will enable the inhabitants of the 10 villages on Khong Island (Khong district) to better connect with the mainland. They were previously only able to make the river crossing by ferry, which was time-consuming and inefficient.
The bridge will significantly contribute to greater socio-economic development, trade, investment and tourism in the southern region in particular and Laos as a whole and It will surely also improve local livelihoods.
Official said, Chinese financial support was significant for socio-economic development and the growth of trade and tourism in the south of Laos.
Built at a cost of more than US.12 million (more than 273.9 billion kip), 95 percent of the financing was provided by a long-term, low interest loan from China’s Export-Import Bank (Exim Bank). The remaining 5 percent, amounting to US.7 million, was provided by the Lao government.
The bridge, which is 11 metres wide, took 34 months to complete.