The China-Laos Business and Industry Cooperation Conference was held in Beijing a few days ago, and people in the business circles of the two countries have expressed their expectation that enterprises of the two countries will strengthen complementary cooperation under favorable conditions such as the "Belt and Road" initiative. It is also necessary to actively expand cooperation in industries such as agriculture, tourism, and the digital economy. Chanthone Sitthixay, the chairman of the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said at the meeting that the chambers of commerce and industry associations of the two countries should further play a role in bridges in promoting economic and trade cooperation between the two sides and provide services for the close cooperation between the two companies.
Since ancient times, Laos and China have been friendly neighbors linked by mountains and rivers. Especially in the past ten years, the trade and investment cooperation between China and Laos has accelerated. In 2019, ASEAN has historically become China's second largest trading partner. In the economic and trade cooperation between China and 10 ASEAN countries, cooperation between China and Laos is very active. According to the latest statistics, from January to November 2019, China and the ten ASEAN countries are ranked according to the growth rate of trade, and Laos is in the top three, an increase of 17.4% year-on-year. The third place, an increase of 8.9% year-on-year; China's exports to ten ASEAN countries are ranked according to the growth rate, Laos ranked second, an increase of 29.6% year-on-year.
Xu Ningning, executive director of the China-ASEAN Business Council, said in an interview with reporters that the close economic and trade relations between China and Laos are the result of the leaders of the two countries, the active implementation of the government, and the optimism of business opportunities by enterprises. It is understood that the first high-speed railway project undertaken by Chinese companies to build Laos has made new breakthroughs and is expected to be completed and opened to traffic in December 2021.
"The bilateral relations between China and Laos are currently at the best period in history." Xu Ningning said that in April 2019, the leaders of the two countries signed the "Action Plan for Building a Community of Destiny in China and Laos", which provided guidance for the long-term development of China-Laos relations New era of China-Laos relations. With the implementation of this action plan, the construction of the China-Laos Destiny Community has continuously achieved positive results. In recent years, leaders of the two countries have frequently exchanged visits and signed important cooperation documents covering almost all fields. China ’s “Belt and Road” initiative and Laos ’strategy of“ transforming from a landlocked country to a landlocked country ”have provided a steady stream of momentum for bilateral economic and trade cooperation. Effective cooperation. For example, major cooperation projects such as the China-Laos Railway, the Xaseta Comprehensive Development Zone, and the Mo-Mo-Ding Economic Cooperation Zone have not only created employment opportunities for related regions, increased local income, but also facilitated the long-term development of Laos.
Laos is located inland in the northern part of the Indochina Peninsula, borders China to the north, Cambodia to the south, Vietnam to the east, Myanmar to the northwest, and Thailand to the southwest. In Xu Ningning's view, Chinese companies entering Laos can not only seize the business opportunities brought by the rapid economic growth of Laos, but also use their geographical advantages to develop other ASEAN countries' markets.
It is understood that in order to further attract more domestic and foreign investment, the Lao Government has revised the Investment Promotion Law at the end of 2016 and appointed investment promotion and management departments at all levels to simplify business regulations and procedures to promote investment and trade in Laos.
"China and Laos are highly matched in terms of social, cultural, economic characteristics and development strategies, so the cooperation prospects are broad, and they also provide a lot of investment opportunities for companies on both sides." Xu Ningning said that Laos has a vast space for economic and trade development, domestic peace, and economy Stable and rich in natural resources, including land resources, forest resources, fresh water resources and mineral resources. Therefore, there are many areas where the two sides can further strengthen cooperation, such as green agriculture, eco-tourism, new energy, technology and vocational education.
Xu Ningning told reporters that the Lao government welcomes and encourages investment by Chinese companies. Chinese companies have business opportunities in Laos to invest in agricultural development and food processing, mineral development, wood processing, tourism development, daily product production, building material production, and infrastructure construction. Moreover, Laos's agricultural products such as rice, coffee, bananas, and watermelons are becoming increasingly popular with Chinese consumers.
2020 is the year of digital economic cooperation between China and ASEAN. Industry insiders pointed out that China-Laos cooperation is on the rise, and the economic and trade cooperation between the two sides is promising.