(KPL) Lao and Thai people joined an alms giving ceremony for 120 monks to celebrate the 25thanniversary of the 1st Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge on April 26, 2019.
The celebration also featured a golf tournament and an exhibition of ODOP products which also reflected Lao, Thai and Australian culture.
Traditional shows portraying the friendship between Laos and Thailand were also organised.
The celebration is of significance to the longstanding friendship and sound cooperation between the Lao PDR, Australia and Thailand, which have enjoyed constant growth and been strengthened over the past decades, said Vice Vientiane Mayor, Mr Sihun Sithileusay.
Over the past 25 years, this bridge has contributed to facilitating the integration of trade, transportation, tourism between the people of two countries as well as in the region, said Mr Sihun.
The opening of bridge in 1994 was a momentous event and significant milestone in the history and development of the Lao PDR, the relations between Laos and Thailand, between Australia and the region. That is why the Friendship Bridge is a project Australians continue to look on with great pride. And I fell deeply privileged that the celebrations for the 25th anniversary of the opening of the Bridge fall during my term as the Australian Ambassador to the Lao PDR, said Australian Ambassador to the Lao PDR Jean-Bernard Carrasco.
When Australia decided to fund the Friendship Bridge, we knew the economic benefits for Thailand and Laos would be significant. Almost 700,000 vehicles now across the Bridge each year. In2017, 863,642 tourists arrived in Lao via the bridge, two times more than through Wattay International Airport. The total value of imports and exports across the Bridge has grown by more than 100% since its opening, said the ambassador.
Over the past 25 years, with some ongoing support from Australia, the Lao and Thai governments have also partnered for the effective maintenance and improvement of the bridge and its operations.
The 1st Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge is contributing to socio-economic development and enhancing the relationship between the peoples of the two countries Laos and Thailand, said Mr Ronnachai Chitvises, Governor of Nongkhai, a northeastern province of Thailand.
This year also marks 45 years since Australia became the first dialogue partner of ASEAN-another significant milestone-and Australia continues today to support and invest in ASEAN member countries like Laos and Thailand to promote development and regional stability.
Source: Lao News Agency