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The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is investing USD$40 million to improve a critical section of National Road 13 in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), with an expected direct benefit to over half a million people.

AIIB’s first approved project in Lao PDR will see 58km of road rehabilitated to improve functionality, safety and climate resilience. The road design will also be strengthened to increase its iRAP Star Rating and meet ASEAN standards.

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 8 northern provinces of Lao PDR, as well as to Vietnam, Thailand and China.

Expected results of the project include:

  • Improved road condition resulting in a reduction of vehicle operating costs;
  • Improved road safety resulting in an increase in average iRAP Star Rating; and
  • Improved road design resulting in an upgraded road improved with climate resilience measures.

The project will support the national strategy and socio-economic development of Lao PDR by enhancing road connectivity of the most critical sections which form the backbone road network for the country.

Specifically, the project will widen the 19 km high traffic section close to Vientiane capital city (Sikeut to Songpeuay market) from the existing two-lane to a four-lane road; and improve and strengthen a 39-km section of two-lane road (Songpeuay market to Phonhong) with Portland cement concrete pavement.

AIIB Vice President and Chief Investment Officer D.J. Pandian said, “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.”

“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 it 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 expected to be completed in May 2023 with joint co-financing of the World Bank and the Nordic Development Fund. The project will use an innovative contracting model, an Output- and Performance-based Road Contract (OPBRC).

Additional information can be found here.

Photos courtesy of AIIB

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