MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is funding a feasibility study for a road improvement project in two very poor provinces of Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) and Viet Nam.
ADB, through the Japan Special Fund, will extend a $1.3 million grant to help prepare a project to upgrade 200 kilometers (km) of national highway in Thanh Hoa province in Viet Nam and 140 kilometers of national highways in Houaphanh province in Lao PDR. 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 Subregion (GMS) Transport Network Improvement Project.
"By improving the efficiency of transport in the GMS northeastern corridor, the project will increase economic growth and reduce poverty in two of the poorer provinces of Lao PDR and Viet Nam," said Jeffrey Miller, Principal Transport Specialist with ADB's Southeast Asia Department.
The planned project will support other ADB transport sector investments in the northern GMS 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.
Lao PDR and Viet Nam will provide the equivalent of $150,000 each to help finance the feasibility study estimated at $1.6 million.