|Nanning, Guangxi, China: More than 120 booths set up by Lao businesses are displaying products at the 14th China-Asean Expo (CAEXPO) and the 14th China-Asean Business and Investment Summit (CABIS), hoping to expand their market and promote Lao products in the region.
The event is taking place from September 12-15 in Nanning, capital of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
Lao products on display include food and beverages, handicrafts, textiles and herbal medicines.
Laos-China trade has enjoyed continuous growth and China is the largest export market and the second largest source of imports to Laos.
Bilateral trade volume in 2016 reached US$2.34 billion, with China ranked as Laos’ second largest trade partner, while the value of investment reached US$7 billion, ranking China as the top foreign investor in Laos, Deputy Prime Minister Dr Sonexay Siphandone said at the opening ceremony yesterday.
The Laos-China railway, part of the One Belt, One Road initiative, will be significant in boosting future trade and investment between the two countries, he said.
China was Asean’s largest trade partner, with a two-way trade volume of over US$368 billion, while direct investment from China into Asean was about US$9.2 billion, ranking it the fourth largest foreign investor in Asean, Dr Sonexay reported.
This year is the 50th anniversary of Asean and the 20th year since Laos became a member of Asean, he added.
In recent years, Asean countries have tried to develop their economies to spur regional integration and international expansion, Dr Sonexay added.
The 14th CAEXPO not only highlights the Silk Road initiative, but features exhibitions that are enriched with innovation in science and technology, metallurgy and building materials and financial services, aimed at practically strengthening cooperation in industrial capacity, equipment manufacturing, economy, trade and investment between China and Asean.
The opening ceremony was led by China’s State Deputy Prime Minister Zhang Gaoli, accompanied by the leaders of Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Brunei, Singapore, the Philippines and other countries.
Some 2,709 exhibiting enterprises are participating in the 14th CAEXPO. Among them, 1,705 are international exhibitors, 6,600 booths are staffed by Asean exhibitors, while 1,523 enterprises from Asean countries are also present as exhibitors.
Seven Asean member countries have chartered exhibition halls for their commodity pavilions, namely Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
Exhibitors from 31 co untries outside the China-Asean region applied for participation of which 65 enterprises from 18 countries were approved, including Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), European countries, the US, Latin America, Middle East, South Asia and Africa and other countries along the Belt and Road routes.
By Khonemany Oudom
(Latest Update September 13, 2017)