August 15, 2018
(from left) State Minister for Foreign Affairs Kazuyuki Nakane; Somdy Douangdy, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance; and Bounchanh Sinthavong, Minister of Public Works and Transport
On August 9, a handover ceremony was held as the culmination of the Vientiane International Airport Terminal Expansion Project, which has been supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) with Japanese ODA loan. Attendees included Somdy Douangdy, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, and Bounchanh Sinthavong, Minister of Public Works and Transport, representing the Government of Laos and Kazuyuki Nakane, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, representing the Government of Japan.
Under the project, expansion of the international passenger terminal, construction of a new domestic passenger terminal and other works were carried out at Wattay International Airport, which is located in Vientiane, the capital city of Laos. As the gateway to the country, the airport is seeing a rise in the number of tourists. It is estimated that the number of travelers using the airport will increase from 690,000 (international) and 300,000 (domestic) in 2014 to 1.51 million and 460,000, respectively, by 2023. The project will accommodate the rapidly rising air traveler demand, improve airport convenience, efficiency and safety, and contribute to the long-term economic promotion of Laos.
In 2014, JICA signed a Japanese ODA loan agreement for 9.017 billion yen for the project, and has assisted in the expansion of the international passenger terminal, the construction of the new domestic passenger terminal building, and the development of peripheral facilities (such as parking facilities, roads and taxiways).
At the handover ceremony, Somdy said that, in addition to contributing to socioeconomic development in Laos, the project is an important symbol of the friendship between Laos and Japan. Nakane said that Japan would continue to support “Quality Infrastructure Investment” in areas where the environment and safety are prioritized, such as the Wattay International Airport, and that he looked forward to continued high-quality service with the participation of Japanese companies in the airport management.
The project was carried out under a public-private partnership with Toyota Tsusho Corporation and JALUX, Inc., which are involved in a management and operation project for the airport. With the enhanced functionality developed through Japanese ODA loan, the airport will now be managed and operated with a foundation of Japanese private sector expertise, and it is expected that high-quality airport operation services will continue to be provided.
JICA will continue to provide cooperation to contribute to socioeconomic development in Laos, through partnerships with the private sector.
photo:HAZAMA ANDO CORPORATION