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Laos, China extend cooperation

Updated:2018-05-14 10:18:01   vientianetimes.org.la

Laos and China have agreed to enhance their economic, trade and technical cooperation, including cooperation in mega projects involving the two countries.

The agreement follows on from the ninth meeting of the Laos-China Joint Committee on Economic, Trade and Technical Cooperation held in Vientiane on Friday, co-chaired by Minister of Industry and Commerce Mrs Khemmani Pholsena and Chinese Deputy Minister of Commerce Ms Gao Yan.

The two sides agreed to use effective measures to expand bilateral trade, with China to increase imports from Laos to meet the needs of Chinese markets. Laos will attend the first expo on imports in China, and China will support and offer the necessary facilities for Laos’ participation.

Through the ‘One Belt, One Road” initiative, the two countries will enhance cooperation on large-scale infrastructure projects, driving forward the development of the Laos-China economic corridor, and collaborating more closely to ensure progress on the Laos-China railway.

At the meeting, the two sides made a comprehensive assessment of the achievements of economic and trade cooperation since reciprocal visits by the countries’ leaders.

These were the attendance of President Bounnhang Vorachit at the One Belt, One Road Summit in May 2017, and the state visit of President Xi Jinping to Laos last November.

The joint committee praised the continuing increase of Chinese investment in Laos, with China now being the largest investor in the country.

The two sides will push forward the Boten-Bohan cooperation project, Xaysettha Development Zone, Vientiane-Vangvieng Expressway, modern agriculture model zone, and the Lao potassium project among others.

The joint committee highly valued the financial support given by China to Laos, which they said effectively supported socio-economic development in  a sustainable way, such as through a long-distance education project and a project on capacity building for rural teachers.

“Good progress has been made in these projects,” the committee stated in a document released at the meeting.

Progress has also been made on a project to develop a master plan on land resource and environmental protection, a rural lighting project, rural digital TV, rural dispensary project, rural irrigation, and agricultural product online trade.

Work on the rebuilding of Mahosot Hospital, a canteen for the National Convention Centre, and the improvement of ICT systems for the Ministry of Industry and Commerce will begin this year.

According to the committee, China is ready to provide a special loan for the development of the Huay Palay hydropower project.

Laos and China also agreed to enhance cooperation in multilateral frameworks such as Lancang-Mekong Cooperation, China-Asean, and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and will push for quick completion of RCEP negotiations.

Editor: John Li

Keywords:   cooperation Laos