As Director-General of Lao National Railway Enterprise and Executive Vice General Manager of
Laos-China Railway Company Ltd., Mr Siharath has been instrumental in the success of the Laos-China Railway. The Railway opened in December 2021 and has created a much-needed international transport link for Laos, greatly reducing the time and cost of transport.
As the number of passengers and train stations has grown, the number of people using the train to travel to Vientiane, Vang Vieng, Luang Prabang and other popular visitor destinations in Laos has increased significantly.
The success of the railway construction and operations follows an impressive career for Mr Siharath – a career of public service that started with a solid education.
In 1999, Mr Siharath received an Australia Awards Scholarship to study a Civil Engineering degree at Monash University. Mr Siharath enjoyed his 4 years living in Australia and made many Australian, Lao and international friends.
“During my time in Australia, I was very impressed with many things such as the modern city of Melbourne. The Australian people were very kind and friendly, living conditions were very high and convenient. My life there was very comfortable, there was even an Asian market so I could eat my hometown food. I have learned their culture and customs, mainly I have improved my English language a lot.”
After graduating in 2004, Mr Siharath decided to continue to grow his career with the Ministry of Public Works and Transport in Laos and is very proud of the work that he is doing as a government official and member of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party.
“I can say that studying in Australia is the big step of changing in my career path. The positive changes that I have seen until now is the big cooperation project between Lao government and international countries. I would like to express my gratitude to the Lao government who gave me such significant opportunity which led me to be in this position today. I am very proud to work as government official and proud to be a Lao person.”
Mr Siharath’s experience as a student in Australia has given him a unique perspective on the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
“I think 70 years of diplomatic relations between Laos and Australia is a very long relationship and long support. I remember that when I was a small child, one of my brothers got an Australian Scholarship as well; during that time, in the 1970’s it was called the Colombo Plan. So when I think about it, I realise how long this diplomatic relationship has been, especially for supporting the education sector, which is very important for Laos.
On behalf of the Lao people, I would like to express my thanks to the Australian Government and Lao Government for such great cooperation and for providing the opportunity for Lao people to access international standard education.”