ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
India gives Laos $72.55 million credit line
Giving a further boost to its relations with Asean countries, India on Friday announced a line of credit worth $72.55 million to Laos for undertaking hyrdoelectric projects, pushing its total investments in this country to $162 million.
The two countries also renewed a three-year cultural exchange programme from 2011-13 which will facilitate closer cooperation in the field of education, health, culture and art, youth affairs and sports, and mass media.
President Pratibha Patil, who is here on a visit, told her Laos counterpart Choummaly Sayasone that India will grant a line of credit worth $72.55 million for two projects.
"Laos had requested on February 1, 2010 for a line of credit of $72.55 million for two hydro-electric projects. In today's talks, the President announced the line of credit," Vijaya Latha Reddy, secretary (East) in the ministry of external affairs, told reporters, after the meeting.
The line of credit is for 230 KV double circuit transmission line from Nabong to Thabok and sub-stations worth $34.68 and 15 MW Nam Boun 2 hydro project worth $37.86 million, Indian officials said.
Indian Ambassador to Laos Jitendra Nath Misra said India's investment in the country - including those already spent and the ones pledged - have reached $162 million after the $72.55 million line of credit announced today.
Laos has requested another line of credit worth $30 million for development of irrigation projects in four provinces and this is under process, sources said.
Patil and her counterpart Sayasone commissioned the Paksong-Jiangxai-Bangyo transmission line project worth $18 million at the Ho Kham Palace in Laos.
"India gave a line of credit of $33 million in 2008 for development of three projects. Angelique International is the implementing agency and WAPCOS is the project management consultant for them. On the Laos side, it is Electricity Commission of Laos," Reddy said.
Patil and Sayasone held a one-on-one meeting which was followed by a meeting of senior officials of the two countries.
Reddy said Laos was a good investment destination for India, especially in the field of power transmission and irrigation projects.
India at present extends 94 per cent duty-free tariff to Lao and plans to make it 100 percent in the near future.
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