Thailand, Laos to hold wide-ranging talks on cooperation



BANGKOK, May 15 – Thailand and Laos will hold a joint cabinet retreat (JCR) this weekend to discuss bilateral cooperation including building two more bridges across the Mekong River, according to an official statement released on Tuesday.


The meeting, to be held in Thailand’s northern province of Chiang Mai after an eight-year recess, will follow up on several joint projects, especially development of communications between the two countries and the sub-region.

The fourth Thai-Lao friendship bridge to link Thailand’s Chiang Kong and the Lao PDR’s Huay Sai is scheduled to open in several months.

Thai and Lao officials will discuss the construction of the fifth bridge linking Bung Karn and Paksan.

The Lao government wants Thailand to speed up the Bangkok-Nong Khai railway which will extend to Laos and South China.

The Thai delegation is expected to confirm Thailand’s readiness in buiding infrastructure to link the two neighbouring countries, particularly the East-West Economic Corridor.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra will lead the Thai delegation which includes several Cabinet members and senior government officials to the JCR.