The Republic of Korea has granted more than 49.7 billion kip (US$6 million) through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) to finance a project that will strengthen geospatial data in Savannakhet province.
The Project for the Establishment of Geospatial Data Infrastructure and Capacity Building for Developing Special Economic Zone in Savannakhet Province aims to create a large-scale digital topographic map for use in socio-economic development in the province.
The project will also build the capacity of officials and provide technical support so that Lao officials can create topographic maps themselves.
The project also will support the government’s socio-economic development plan, especially the development of infrastructure including roads, electricity, water supply, and urban planning.
The project agreement was signed in Vientiane yesterday by the Director General of the Survey and Mapping Department, Ministry of Home Affairs, Dr Khongkham Souliya, and a representative of the KOICA office in Laos, Mr Sungsoo Oh.
Speaking at the project signing ceremony, the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Laos, Mr Shin Sung-soon said “The map is very essential infra data for the government’s socio-economic development plan.”
Minister of Home Affairs Mr Khammanh Sounvileuth said geospatial data was an important aspect of Laos’ socio-economic development plan.
Under the project, Lao officials will learn how to create landscape maps from Korean experts.
Some officials will also learn about management planning and implementation in the Republic of Korea, Mr Khammanh added.
Korea is also providing mapping information, equipment and vehicles for use in the project.
The four-year project runs from 2018 to 2021. This is the second phase and follows on from the successful digital topographic mapping and capacity building project carried out in Vientiane from 2014 to 2017.
The main difference between the previous and current projects is the support for relevant law and regulation establishment activities, such as National Spatial Data Infrastructure, which is essential for the government’s development.
Apart from this project, KOICA is currently operating 12 projects in Laos, mainly in the sectors of health, rural development, education, and energy.
KOICA also invites about 200 Lao government officials each year to the Republic of Korea for knowledge exchange and capacity improvement.