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ACC Secretary-General Opened Laos-China Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum in Vientiane, Lao PDR

2015-12-25 15:50:33   By:ASEAN-China Centre (ACC)    Hits:


on 20 October 2015, the Laos-China Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum was held in Vientiane, Laos. The Forum was co-organized by the ASEAN-China Centre (ACC) and Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and supported by Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Lao Embassy to China and Chinese Embassy to Laos. H.E. Mme. Yang Xiuping, Secretary-General of ACC, H.E. Mr. Somchith Inthamith, Vice Minister of Industry and Commerce, and Mr. Daovone Phachanthavong, Vice Chairman of Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, attended the Forum.

H.E. Mr. Somchith Inthamith said that this forum was an important platform for further cooperation in trade and investment between Laos and China, which would not only promote exchanges among the two countries¡¯ entrepreneurs, but also enhance cooperation between Chinese enterprises and ASEAN as a whole. He further emphasized that Laos and China should cooperate more effectively in the China-Laos railway project and China-Laos-Thailand highway project, enhance exchanges between local governments and enterprises of Laos and China, and give more attention to the bilateral cooperation in agricultural processing, energy industry, economic special zones, real estate in urban areas, tourism and so on. He pointed out that 2016 would be a year when the ASEAN-China dialogue relations mark the 25th anniversary and Laos would be the ASEAN¡¯s rotating Chair. In that year, ASEAN would summarize and evaluate on ASEAN-China relations. He hoped that the economic and strategic cooperation between the two sides would be uplifted to a new level, so as to efficiently implement the consensus reached by the leaders.

Secretary-General Yang expressed that China¡¯s economy enters a stage of new normal where the growth rate will transfer from high speed to medium-high speed and the economy will be driven more by innovation rather than production factors and investment. The ¡°Belt and Road¡± Initiative proposed by the Chinese government had seen positive responses from Asia and even the world. From January to July 2015, the bilateral trade volume between China and countries in the ¡°Belt and Road¡± region had reached over 570 billion USD, and Chinese companies had invested a total of 8.59 billion USD in 48 countries along the ¡°Belt and Road¡±. This Initiative had promoted the economic and social development in the region and would continue to do so, and people there would definitely benefit from the initiative.

She also pointed out that Laos has been a friendly neighbor of China and an important member of the ASEAN. Since the establishment of Laos-China diplomatic relations, both sides had treated each other with sincerity, trust and mutual assistance. Leaders of the two countries had frequent exchanges, the political mutual trust was deepened and cooperation in various fields had been carried out. The bilateral trade volume in 2014 reached 3.6 billion USD, an increase of 32%. Trade structure had been optimized, and trade balance was improved. Currently, China is the largest export destination market of Laos. From January to July 2015, the contract value of Chinese companies in Laos reached 2.57 billion USD, up by 108.7%, ranking the second among the ten ASEAN Member States. Project cooperation had been carried out on roads, bridges and water conservancy facilities. Chinese investment in Laos continued to expand. China is the largest source of Lao foreign investment, ranking  third among the ten ASEAN members. Chinese companies had invested in hydropower, mining industry, agriculture, real estate industry and industrial zone development in Laos. Secretary-General Yang suggested that Laos and China should enhance their cooperation in industrial capacity and reduce procurement costs, which would not only improve the industrial development and industrialization level of Laos, but also help upgrade China¡¯s economic transformation so as to realize a common development.

Mr. Daovone Phachanthavong, Vice Chairman of Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said this Forum was of great importance. Lao National Chamber of Commerce took an active part in all enterprise activities held by ASEAN and China and supported China¡¯s ¡°Belt and Road¡± economic development policy. It would significantly help provide the provinces in the North of Laos with a gateway for exchanges between ASEAN and China, and seek more business opportunities by attending expos and matching meetings in China.

Officials from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the Ministry of Planning and Investment introduced trade and investment regulations as well as relevant preferential policies in Laos. Mr. Li Yuan, Director of Trade and Investment Division (TID) of ACC, introduced Chinese market access on agricultural products from Laos. His presentation was well received among the entrepreneurs from the two countries.

The Forum was attended by about 150 participants, including members from railway, highway, hydropower, equipment, trade, real estate, technology and investment sectors, government officials and entrepreneurs from Laos as well as ACC delegation.

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