The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is funding a feasibility study for a road improvement project in two provinces of Laos and Vietnam.
ADB announced Nov. 20 that the bank, through the Japan Special Fund, would extend a US$1.3 million grant to help prepare a project to upgrade 200 kilometers of national highway in Thanh Hoa Province in Vietnam and 140 km of national highway in Houaphanh Province in Laos. The project will also upgrade about 100 km of rural access roads in each country.
The study will provide detailed cost estimates and consider the environmental and social impacts of the second northern Greater Mekong Sub-region transport network improvement project, the ADB announcement said.
“By improving the efficiency of transport in the northeastern corridor, the project will increase economic growth and reduce poverty in two of the poorer provinces of Laos and Vietnam,” Jeffrey Miller, principal transport specialist with ADB’s Southeast Asia Department, said in the announcement.
The bank said the planned project will support other ADB transport sector investments in the northern Greater Mekong Sub-region corridor which are aimed at creating an efficient and comprehensive cross-border transport system, boosting trade and investment. The project will also help strengthen sub-regional economic cooperation, one of the pillars of ADB’s Strategy 2020 development agenda.
Laos and Vietnam will provide the equivalent of US$150,000 each to help finance the feasibility study estimated at $1.6 million, according to ADB.