Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank approves first road project in Lao PDR
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s (AIIB) Board of Directors has approved a loan of US$40 million to improve a critical section of National Road 13 in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic ( Lao PDR ). This is AIIB’s first approved project in Lao PDR and it will directly benefit over half a million people.
58 kilometers of road will be rehabilitated in order to improve functionality, safety and climate resilience. Of the main beneficiaries, over 239,000 are women, living in 471 villages and 11 districts in Vientiane Capital and Vientiane Province. The project will also benefit individuals and commercial road users who need to travel to and from the eight northern provinces of Lao PDR, as well as to Vietnam, Thailand and China.
“For our first investment in Lao PDR we chose a project that will have both local and regional impacts,” said AIIB Vice President and Chief Investment Officer D.J. Pandian. “This investment will improve one of the most vital transport routes in the country. The updates to the road will enable quicker and safer transportation of goods and people, which will promote socio-economic development within the country and improve connectivity with its neighbours.”
The National Road 13 Improvement Plan and Maintenance Project is the first project submitted to AIIB’s Board of Directors for review that benefited from a grant from AIIB’s Project Preparation Special Fund. The USD995,000 grant supported preparatory consultancy services that included preparation of a resettlement action plan to ensure implementation readiness and conceptual design of the south section of National Road 13.
“By working to bring National Road 13 up to the ASEAN road standard, we are helping to increase its sustainability, as damage from heavy vehicles will be reduced,” said AIIB Director General Supee Teravaninthorn. “To help ensure that Lao PDR can maintain National Road 13 for the long-term, AIIB’s investment will support construction that will reduce future maintenance costs and extend the project’s life cycle.”
The National Road 13 Improvement Plan and Maintenance Project is jointly cofinanced with the World Bank and the Nordic Development Fund.