On September, the 18th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) and China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (CABIS) were held in Nanning, China. Chinese President Xi Jinping sent his congratulations to this year’s CAEXPO and CABIS. Mr. Wang Qishan, Vice President of China, read Xi’s letter of congratulation and delivered remarks on the opening ceremony. State leaders of ASEAN countries also delivered their remarks via video clips on the opening ceremony.
The Lao government attached great importance to utilize CAEXPO and CABIS as platforms to enhance China-ASEAN exchange and cooperation in various areas. H.E. Mr. Phankham VIPHAVANH, Prime Minister of Lao PDR, delivered video remarks on the opening ceremony of the 18th CAEXPO and CABIS, and H.E. Mr. Sonexay SIPHANDONE, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Lao Ministry of Planning and Investment, delivered his remarks and exchanged ideas with representatives from various Chinese enterprises during the Round-table Dialogue between State Leader of Laos and CEOs from China, a dialogue under the framework of CABIS.
Laos seeks development with CAEXPO
After Lao PDR became the country of honor of CAEXPO in 2009 and 2020, Laos has assumed this honor for the third time in 2021. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of China-Laos diplomatic relations and the China-Laos Year of Friendship. For 60 years, both sides have been through ups and downs together and have gained fruitful results through mutual support. The opening of the 18th CAEXPO and CABIS will bring more opportunities and achievements to China-Laos cooperation.
“The 18th CAEXPO is held in the same year that marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of China-ASEAN dialogue relations.” H.E. Mr. Phankham VIPHAVANH spoke highly of CAEXPO and CABIS during the opening ceremony of the CAEXPO and the CABIS in his video remark. According to him, “This CAEXPO sets a high-level theme, which corresponds to the essence of the 2021 China-ASEAN Year of Sustainable Development Cooperation and the ASEAN-China Joint Statement on Synergizing the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025 and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) issued on the 22nd ASEAN-China Summit in 2019.”
H.E. Phankham VIPHAVANH indicated that 2021 marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of China-Laos diplomatic relations and the Year of China-Laos Friendship, which is of great significance. The Laos-China Railway, which will be put into operation in December 2, 2021, the National Day of Laos, is a symbolic project within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. The railway will provide impetus for Laos-China and ASEAN-China cooperation in economy, investment, tourism, employment, cultural and people-to-people exchanges.
Laos highly values CAEXPO’s facilitation for China-Laos cooperation. In this year’s CAEXPO, the number of physical booths of Laos reached 54, and the Online CAEXPO also includes Lao featured products like Beer, Dao Coffee, rice, tea leaves, wooden furniture, silver ornaments, and handicraft. In addition, on the first day of CAEXPO, the opening ceremony of Laos National Hall was also held. This year’s CAEXPO put the Laos National Hall alongside with Lao Products Hall to increase its influence.
The country needs more foreign investment during the its economic development and the CAEXPO and the CABIS serve as bridges connecting Laos and foreign investors. The Special Promotion for Laos of ASEAN investment was held on 11th June. Later on September 9, the Commemoration of China-Laos Diplomatic Relations & China-Laos Economic Cooperation Forum was held in Nanning, aiming for promoting China-Laos friendly communication to a new stage, deepening practical cooperation between China and Laos, facilitating the strategic docking between China’s Belt and Road Initiative and Laos’ From Landlocked to Land-linked Strategy.
To enhance exchange and cooperation with Chinese enterprises
As one of the key events of the CABIS, the Round-table Dialogue between State Leader of Laos and CEOs from China was also held the same day as the opening ceremony. On the meeting, H.E. Mr. Sonexay SIPHANDONE, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Lao Ministry of Planning and Investment, had in-depth exchanges with representatives from Chinese enterprises such as China Southern Power Grid, China Datang Group, China Railway International, and China-ASEAN Information Harbor under the topic of “how to deepen industrial cooperation and how to highly integrate into regional industrial chain, supply chain, and value chain”.
During the meeting, H.E. Mr. Sonexay SIPHANDONE said that this Round-table Dialogue provides an important communication platform for promoting enterprises to invest and improving the investment environment in Laos. He said, “I hope we can facilitate this dialogue platform to exchange ideas, which will serve as references for the government to supplement current political measures, so as to remove barriers that domestic and foreign enterprises face when handling commerce and investment affairs and create better business environment. I hope that this constructive exchange would boost the economic and social development of Laos, enhance the lasting cooperation between Laos and China, and bring down-to-earth benefit to the two peoples.”
During the CABIS, there were also the Symposium on China-ASEAN Commercial Legal Cooperation. China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) and Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry jointly signed the Memorandum on the Establishment of China-Laos Commercial Legal Cooperation Committee. Aside from this, H.E. Ms. Khamphao ERNTHAVANH, Lao Ambassador to China, accepted a joint interview of the media on questions on the establishment of the 60th anniversary of China-Laos diplomatic relations.
60 years make up a cycle of calendar in Chinese culture with meaning of new beginning. Today, China and Laos, the two countries that have been through a cycle, are in the best period for developing bilateral relations. As one can see, the future of China-Laos cooperation includes infinite possibilities. As one can be convinced that Laos, in its new era of development, will surely create a brighter future at the stage of CAEXPO and CABIS.