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China’s investment projects in Laos gradually resume operation amid the epidemic outbreak

By Miao Chao (People's Daily Online)    10:50, February 27, 2020

After the novel coronavirus outbreak, China’s investment projects in Laos have been affected to varying degrees. By February 18, 2020,some projects have resumed their production and construction in a well-organized manner while actively controlling the epidemic situation.

Located in Vientiane, the capital of Laos, the Vientiane Saysettha Development Zone is co-founded by China Yunnan Construction and Investment Holding Group Co., Ltd (YCIH) and the Vientiane Municipal Government. One person in charge stated that the investment corporations and enterprises have resumed their work and the construction projects are under progress.

The Vientiane Saysettha Development Zone adheres to the principle of management localization. Chinese and foreign employees jointly undertake the construction and establishment work of the Development Zone. After the outbreak, an epidemic prevention and control working group was set up, responsible for formulating relevant countermeasures such as online management as well as joint management by both China and Laos. Chinese staff work online and actively collaborate with foreign staff to guarantee the work is carried out on the track.

The Vientiane-Vangvieng Expressway stretches 113.5km. It is the first part of the Vientiane-Boten Expressway, which is also constructed by YCIH. The Vientiane-Vangvieng Expressway construction has officially resumed on February 10.

After the resumption of the construction of Vientiane-Vangvieng Expressway, strict guidelines have been implemented for epidemic prevention and control. For example, adopting closed-off management, applying real-name attendance system at the entrance, and implementing temperature screening at living and office areas. Mobile monitoring vehicles are arranged at the construction site for storing epidemic prevention supplies, meanwhile, isolation rooms are set up at the site to conduct comprehensive sanitation and disinfection.

The Kunming-Vientiane (K-V) railway, as an important project of the Belt and Road, is also being constructed smoothly with epidemic prevention and control measures in place.

At present, the Kunming-Vientiane (K-V) railway (Laos section) project is at a key stage nearing completion. All participating units have been assigned construction tasks as well as epidemic prevention and control work in order to reduce the impact of coronavirus as much as possible.

A Chinese constructer said, “The management team of the project has decided not to leave for the Spring Festival. Most of the management personnel and the operators are still at the construction site. The construction is to a large extent not affected by the epidemic situation, and the production schedule is advancing according to plan".

Chen Hongbing, an overseas Chinese who has been living in Luang Prabang for 13 years, told the reporter that “We are glad to see the continuous construction of China-Laos railway and everyone is looking forward to the railway being opened as scheduled”.

The Kunming-Vientiane (K-V) railway is the first international railway mainly invested by China after the Belt and Road Initiative was initiated, adopting China’s technical standards and using China’s devices to directly connect with China’s railway network. The line stretches over 1,000km in total. After being put into operation, the railway will substantially cut down travel time from Kunming to Vientiane. (Compiled by Fu Yihan and Zhang Xinfeng)  

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