Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn will preside over the opening ceremony of the new Thai-Lao friendship bridge across the Mekong River on December 11, according to the Department of Highways.

Director-General Chatchawal Booncharoenkit said the opening ceremony will be co-chaired by Mr. Boonyoung Worlajit, Vice President of the Lao People's Democratic Republic.

The new Thai-Lao friendship bridge links Chiang Khong district, Chiang Rai province to Laos' Houy Xai city of Bokeo province. It is the fourth friendship bridge between the two countries, but is different from other bridges in that it is the first bridge linking the northern parts of the two countries. The three earlier bridges link the northeast of Thailand to the East of Laos.

The construction of the new bridge has been supported by the governments of Thailand, Laos and China and also the Asian Development Bank.

The four friendship bridges are built to promoting trade, investment and tourism between the two countries and also to facilitate the land transport between Thailand, Laos and southern China.

News from NNT