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LAOS: Savannakhét Road Checkpoints Come Down in Bid to Boost Freight Flow

In a bid to expedite the movement of freight transport, all inspection checkpoints along main roads in the Savannakhét province have been dismantled. Their removal comes in the wake of complaints from businesses that such inspections not only slow down freight movement but also serve as an additional layer of red tape. It has also been alleged that such checkpoints have been used by local officials as a means of extracting ‘informal fees’ from freight companies.

The authorities have indicated that, although general inspections have been eliminated, provincial traffic police, customs and forestry officials are still entitled to inspect any freight transport vehicles they suspect of being engaged in illegal activity. Any other government department that wants to carry out such an inspection, however, must first secure approval from the provincial government.

Savannakhét is the largest province in Laos and has been promoted as both the country’s economic hub and as a role model for improving the overall ease of doing business on a national basis. The Savan-Seno Special Economic Zone (SEZ), the longest-established of the country’s 11 SEZs, is also located in the province.

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