A gifted school, funded by the Vietnamese Government, has just been put into use in Xiengkhouang province. (Photo: NDO)

According to the Laos-Vietnam Cooperation Committee, local authorities in some northern Lao provinces are requesting the Government to allow Vietnamese workers and experts to enter Laos so that some Vietnam's aid to Laos projects can be completed soon. Due to COVID-19, Vietnamese workers are currently unable to return to Laos.

On July 19th, Mr. Khamphoi Keokinnaly, Lao Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment, and Standing Deputy President of the Laos-Vietnam Cooperation Committee, said some of Vietnam's aid projects in Laos’ Houaphanh and Xiengkhouang provinces are going to be completed; however, the construction must be temporarily stopped in the absence of Vietnamese experts and labourers.

Talking about the progress of the construction project of the Houaphanh Friendship Hospital, Mr. Khamphoi Keokinnaly said that the project had entered the second phase with electricity, water system and medical equipment being installed, while the construction of the Xiengkhouang Friendship Hospital is waiting for only medical equipment installation to be put into use.

Assessing the progress of the projects, Mr. Khamphoi Keokinnaly said that they could be completed by the end of this year or early next year, ready to provide  healthcare for the two provinces’ residents.

Apart from the Vietnamese Government's non-refundable aid projects for Laos, there are a number of projects invested by Vietnamese enterprises in these two provinces.

Since 2011, Vietnamese enterprises have invested USD83 million in Xiengkhouang, and USD64 million in Houaphanh province since 2006. These are two provinces of Laos bordering Vietnam, twinned with many localities and having many investment co-operation activities with enterprises from central Vietnam into Laos.

Due to the negative consequences of COVID-19, a number of large projects funded by Vietnam as non-refundable aid, as well as investment projects of Vietnamese enterprises in Laos, are behind schedule, including the construction of the new National Assembly House of Laos in Vientiane, or the construction project of Nongkhang Airport in Houaphanh province./.

Compiled by BTA