Japanese consulting firm Nippon Koei to upgrade ancient Laos town

An undated photo shows a street in the ancient town of Luang Prabang in Laos. Nippon Koei Co. will cooperate in the town’s smart city project with details slated to be set by 2020. (Photo courtesy of Nippon Koei)

BANGKOK, NNA - Japanese engineering consulting firm Nippon Koei Co. will transform an ancient town of Luang Prabang in Laos into a smart city by introducing a new-generation transportation system.

The firm signed an agreement with the World Heritage town earlier this month to build a sustainable mobility system by connecting several means of transport with information technologies, according to a statement it released last Friday.

The details are slated to be set by 2020 with an eye to using private or Japanese government funds, the firm said.

Through a project with the Japan International Cooperation Agency to enhance capacity for maintenance and preservation of the ancient capital from 2018, the firm learned of the need for a new transportation system as well as new infrastructure, such as road construction, it said.

The agreement is in line with pledges made during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-Japan Smart Cities Network High-level Meeting held in Japan earlier this month, according to the firm. In the meeting, Japan shared its information on high-end infrastructure with ASEAN countries to promote smart city projects across the region.

Luang Prabang is among 26 pilot cities in the ASEAN smart city program. Nippon Koei also agreed with another pilot city, Makassar on Sulawesi Island in Indonesia, to cooperate in the program. (NNA/Kyodo)

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