Laos eyes 18.8 per cent rise in exports to China

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - The government is optimistic that the value of exports to China will rise this year in view of the continuously increasing trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.

With support from leaders of the two countries as well as the Laos-China Cooperation Commission, bilateral trade and economic cooperation has greatly increased in recent years.

This year, the government is targeting an increase in exports to China of 18.8 percent, or about US$1.48 billion, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce reported.

In 2016, Laos exported about US$1.13 billion worth of goods to China. It is expected that the total value for 2017 will be US$1.34 billion, after the first nine months saw exports reach US$917.8 million in value.

Exports mostly comprised minerals, agricultural produce and handicrafts, furniture, manufactured goods, aluminium and plastics.

Agricultural products increased in volume, especially bananas, rubber, fertiliser, cassava and sweetcorn.

China is now the biggest foreign investor in Laos and the country’s second largest trading partner.

The government expects that the bilateral trade revenue from exports and imports in 2017 will total US$2.16 billion and plans to increase that figure to US$2.42 billion in 2018.

In November last year, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee and President of China Xi Jinping paid a state visit to Laos.

The visit deepened the traditional friendship between the two countries, promoted cooperation in all fields, set a blueprint for the construction of a common community, indicated the direction of future cooperation, and took the comprehensive strategic partnership to a new level.

The China-Laos railway, the launch of Laos’ first satellite, the Laos-Cambodia border road and other projects funded by China have helped to promote connectivity between Laos and neighbouring countries.

This is enabling Laos to achieve its goal of converting from being landlocked to becoming a land link within the region.

China is willing to partner with Laos in moving their traditional friendship forward, expanding mutually beneficial cooperation, and further deepening bilateral trade and economic cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative, thus taking the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries to new heights.

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