CHAMPASSAK PROVINCE, Laos (Vientiane Times/ANN) - The Nongnokheane-Trapeang Kriel border has become the first official international border checkpoint between Laos and Cambodia after being recognised as a local crossing point for almost 30 years.
Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith and his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen officially opened the Nongnokheane-Trapeang Kriel international border checkpoint yesterday.
The opening ceremony took place in the centre of the crossing between Nongnokheane in Khong district, Champassak province, and Trapeang Kriel in Cambodia's Stung Treng province.
Thongloun gave a speech to mark the occasion, with the event widely heralded by the two countries following a groundbreaking ceremony for construction of the border checkpoint in 2007.
He noted that this crossing point had previously been mostly used by the residents of Champassak province and Stung Treng province.
In April 2009 the two countries agreed to upgrade the status of the crossing to a recognised international border checkpoint.
Thongloun said the event was considered to be of historical significance as it marked the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries and would deepen the longstanding traditional friendship and solidarity between the Lao and Cambodian people.
The move will develop land links and enhance trade, investment, tourism and transportation between the two countries.
The border links with the East-West Economic Corridor, which facilitates connectivity between Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.
Laos and Cambodia share a land and water border over a distance of 535 kilometres, of which a 465 kilometre section has been demarcated since 2000.
Also speaking at the ceremony, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen noted that the Nongnokheane-Trapeang Kriel international border crossing links to Road No. 7 in Cambodia and Road No. 13 South in Laos.
The upgrade of the border crossing will facilitate transportation between Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam and other countries in the Sub-Mekong Region.
The border crossing has been open to the public since 2013 when construction of the crossing point and related facilities in Champassak province was completed.
The construction cost amounted to more than 31 billion kip ($3 million), funded by the Lao government.