Greater Mekong Subregion: Northern Economic Corridor Project






Total Reported Cost

129.1 million USD


Start Date

Dec. 20 2002

Start of Construction

Jan. 08 2003

Planned Completion Date

Feb. 28 2009






Source(s) Amount
34,100,000 USD
3,200,000 USD
38,900,000 USD
52,880,000 USD


The primary goal of the Project is to strengthen regional infrastructure linkages between GMS members. The project road will help facilitate trade and investment in the region. A direct link between the PRC and Thailand via the Lao PDR will reduce transport costs in the regional project influence area, and increase the efficiency of the movement of vehicles, goods, and passengers. The area of the indirect influence of the Project is potentially large and covers a population of about 42 million in the immediate provinces in these three countries. At present, international trade flows rely on one of three links that are quite restricted and not very reliable: (i) river traffic on the Mekong River, (ii) Thailand to the PRC via Myanmar, and (iii) the poor quality project road. Upgrading the project road will provide the essential transport infrastructure to facilitate the economic and social development of the project influence area. This link will also help to accelerate the development process of the Lao PDR by linking its economy to two rapidly growing economies of the region. The road link will help reduce poverty by providing access to markets, extension services, income and employment opportunities, and enhancing development potential. At present, domestic trade flows within Bokeo and Louang Namtha provinces are constrained by a single, narrow, unsealed road that is closed for about 4 months of the year during the wet season. The project road is Bokeo province’s only connection with the rest of the Lao PDR, other than limited river traffic along the Mekong River.