FUNDING for the the next Thai / Lao Mekong Friendship bridge has been announced today... 011406 - ThaisNews - Thailand and China will share the construction cost of the 3rd Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge http://www.thaisnews.com/news_detail.php?newsid=202418 14 January 2007 Thailand and China will share the construction cost of the 3rd Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge Thailand and China have reaffirmed they will each pay half of the construction cost of the third Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge estimated at around 33 million US dollars. The bridge will be built across the Mekong River. The commitment was made at the meeting between leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the People's Republic of China in Cebu, Philippines today. The bridge will link the Thai northern province of Chiang Rai with Laos's Huay Sai Province. Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont said China is considered a pillar supporting regional stability and an important mechanism for ASEAN's growth. He welcomed Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabaoa's proposal to help support communication and logistics development within the region during the next 10 to 15 years, in order to facilitate future investment and tourism between ASEAN and China. At the meeting, the Chinese Prime Minister also proposed ASEAN-China cooperation in bird flu suppression, public health and natural disaster mitigation. At the end of the ASEAN-China meeting, Prime Minister Surayud witnessed the signing of three economic agreements between ASEAN and China. They are the Agreement on Trade in Services of the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation, the Action Plan under Beijing Declaration on Partnership in ICT cooperation and the Memorandum of Understanding on Agriculture signed between the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and the ASEAN Secretariat. So now they just have to sign a contract for the bridge & get cracking. It could be in place in about 3-4 years at guess. I wonder if the bridge will be ready before they finish asphalting the road Huay Sai - Luang Nam Tha?