25th SEA Games Village officially opens in Laos

Posted by samakomlao Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The SEA Games Village is now ready to welcome guests to the 25th SEA Games after a year long construction period.

A handover ceremony of the SEA Games Village from the Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) Joint Stock Company to the Lao SEA Games Organising Committee (LAOSOC) was held yesterday.

The ceremony was attended by Lao and Vietnamese government officials, representatives from HAGL and the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV).

Standing Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the LAOSOC, Mr Somsavat Lengsavad said, “In the preparations for the first ever hosting of the SEA Games by Laos this December, the Lao government has built up infrastructure. The government of Vietnam is not only assisting Laos on this SEA Games Village project, but has also supported Laos by building an athletes training centre and helped Lao athletes to train at camps in Vietnam.”

He expressed profound thanks to the Vietnamese government, HAGL and BIDV for the assistance they have giving for the SEA Games Village project. He also believed that Laos and Vietnam will have further fruitful cooperation and assistance into the future.

Chairman of the Management Board of HAGL, Mr Doan Nguyen Duc said, the handover ceremony of the SEA Games Village today was a very important day and coincided with the anniversary celebrations for the National Day of Vietnam.

HAGL has not only supported Laos to build the SEA Games Village, but also to train the Lao football team for 12 months in Vietnam under the guidance of Austrian coach Anfred Riedl to lead them to the SEA Games, he said.

Our company has provided assistance to Laos for this year's SEA Games worth a total of more than 42 billion kip (US$5 million), including 33.9 billion kip (US$4 million) for the SEA Games Village, he added.

Construction of the village began on a 42,000 sqm site in Nongviengkham village of Xaythany district near the National University of Laos' Dongdok campus in July 2008. The project was finished last month at a total cost of more than 161 billion kip (US$19 million).

The amount comprises of a loan of more than 127 billion kip (US$15 million) and a grant of 34 billion kip (US$4 million) from HAGL. A small portion comes in the form of a soft loan with no defined interest rate.

The village contains eight buildings and other auxiliary facilities. Eight four-storey buildings with international standard facilities will contain 1,000 rooms and accommodate 4,000 athletes. A single-storey building will house a canteen and a three-storey building will contain multi-purpose management offices.

One floor of the management building will have rooms where the team leaders of each participating nation can meet, while the first and second floors will be used for press conferences and other functions.

When the games end, the village and all its facilities will be handed over to the National University of Laos for students use.

The 25th SEA Games is the first such event to be hosted by Laos , and the country hopes to produce some interesting surprises at the opening and closing ceremonies.

Vietnam has also supported Laos by building an athletes training centre in Vientiane at a cost of about 33.9 billion kip (US$4 million).

The centre, located in Sikeut village, Naxaithong district, was officially opened earlier this year.

The BIDV and the Vietnamese company Hong Quang have also presented more than 847 million kip (US$100,000) each to help fund the opening ceremony of the games.

By Sisay Vilaysack

1 Comment
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