Her Royal Highness arrived at the Chiang Khong - Houy Xai Friendship Bridge on the Thai-Lao border at 8.30 a.m. On hand to welcome HRH were caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and the caretaker Minister of Transport who led the princess to an exhibition on the background of the bridge. At 10.00 a.m. Her Royal Highness joined Lao Vice President Bounyoung Vorachit at the opening ceremony of the Bridge.
The construction of the new bridge have been supported by the Thai and Lao governments, the Asian Development Bank and the Chinese government in a hope that the bridge would boost trade, investment and tourism among Thailand, Laos and China.
Bilateral trade value through the Chiang Khong checkpoint in the first nine months of this year increased by more than 30% to 12 billion baht -- 9 billion baht from exports and 3 billion baht from imports. With the opening of the new bridge, Chiang Khong District hopes to experience higher growth in bilateral trade as well as a greater number of tourists next year.