Laos-China trade: Govt to export 2,000 tonnes of rice to China this month; new railway to boost business

VIENTIANE, Jan 9 (Xinhua): Laos plans to ship 2,000 tonnes of polished rice to China in January, which is part of a trade quota agreement between the Lao and Chinese governments.

More rice will be sent to China to fulfil the total target by the end of 2021 said the Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

Rice is still reaching China as planned despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, said the report.

Under the official rice trade quota, the Lao and Chinese governments expect to bolster bilateral trade. China is the largest rice export market for Laos, and the country’s second biggest trading partner. Vietnam and Thailand are also important markets for the Lao-grown staple.

Laos’ revenue from rice exports to China has increased in recent years as a result of the trade preference agreement between the two countries, the report said.

Meanwhile, the China-Laos railway and the Vientiane-Boten expressway will provide huge momentum in strengthening Laos’ connectivity with the rest of the region, said Acting President of the Lao National Economic Research Institute Sathabandith Insyxiengmay.

The railway and expressway are part of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and in line with the Lao government’s strategy to convert the country from being landlocked to land-linked within the region, Sathabandith said.

These two routes will enable faster movement of people and workers, while investors will be able to operate businesses in more areas, said the official, adding that it will lead to the improvement of services and facilities in towns situated along the railway and expressway.

These routes will create purchasing power synergy and will expedite the growth of urban areas as development is closely linked to population size, said Sathabandith.

Sathabandith said it will be necessary to build roads that link the railway with production sites so that goods can be transported easily, adding that logistics and cross-border services must be integrated to facilitate the transport of goods by rail. – Xinhu