Transit problems faced by Lao
The major and persistent Lao complaints were about delays in shipments and high freight charges by Express Transport Organization (ETO). It is Thailand’s government company. In addition, an amount of bribe had to be paid for the highway, local police, customs officials and others.
In Lao, there are numerous public holidays when customs officials don’t work. It used to create congestion in the Port of Bangkok. Further, the requirement for advance payments for haulage from the port, delays in identifying. Also, handling bulky packages, insufficient trucks in the port area are the problems faced. Furthermore, labor problems in the port, Thai rather than Lao control of goods in transit. Also, customs inspections requiring unloading and reloading trucks at Nonghai are some of the other problems faced by in transit by Lao.
Lao PDR strategy to become land-linked.
In Lao PDR, the main rail connection is 3.5 km extension of the State Railway of Thailand to Thanaleng Railway Station. It is near the capital Vientiane. A plan of extending this railway to Vientiane and convert the Thanaleng Railway Station to a freight terminal has been approved. Also, to allow for more efficient movement of goods to and from Lao PDR has been approved in 2018. This plan will be followed by connecting Lao PDR with China, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand. The countries will be connected to efficient rail transportation. They will also be connected to make Lao PDR a rail hub for all of Southeast Asia.
Along with investments in its international connectivity, Vientiane (the capital city of Lao PDR) has taken grants and loans of USD 78 million. To implement a Vientiane Sustainable Urban Transport project, they will install 84 km Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system. It will include an 11.5km dedicated bus lane in the central urban area. As well as they will install improved parking management and enforcement and traffic management systems by 2021.
In order to avoid the negative impacts of increased motorization like traffic congestion, unsafe and illegal parking, air pollution, and increased fuel consumption. They are planning to implement Vientiane Sustainable Urban Transport project. Under this project, an 84 km long Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system will be installed. It will include an 11.5km dedicated bus lane in the central urban area. This will lead to improved parking management and traffic management systems.
The cost of broadband internet in Lao PDR ranks second highest in Asia, in 2015. Further, there were only 1000 websites which existed in the Laotian language. Many IT systems were not supported by the Laotian language. In November 2015, a telecommunications satellite was launched to bring internet services to remote areas of the country (Lao PDR 45%). In 2018, 21.9% of people used the internet regularly.
Landlocked economies suffer from different economic constraints due to distance from major markets. These include dependence on coastal neighbors for ocean access and lack of alternative transit routes. This results in a weak economy and infrastructure. However, countries like Lao PDR are trying to grow their GDP at the rate of 6-7% annually. Lao connects its seaboard neighboring countries by providing a direct overland transport route which Lao PDR is land-bridge.