Source: Vientiane Times
The government is set to hold talks with business operators to encourage them to produce more of the goods required by Chinese buyers, Prime Minister Phamkham Viphavanh told the National Assembly (NA).
The premier was responding to questions raised during the ongoing second ordinary session of the NA’s 9th legislature. Assembly members inquired about the government’s plan to promote commercial production associated with the Laos-China railway, which is scheduled to come into service next month, to drive the economy.
The government will hold talks with the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry with the aim of encouraging businesses to invest in and produce nine categories of goods for which the Chinese government has given Laos an export quota.
“We will figure out what the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry plans to do and what it wants from the government to facilitate production,” he told lawmakers.
He added that the government is ready to consider and offer supporting policies to maximise potential in this regard.
Laos has received a quota to export cattle, rice, bananas, cassava, tea, watermelons, beans and rubber latex to China, according to a previous report.
PM Phankham said China has allocated Laos a huge quota of cattle and rice for sale to its markets but that in reality Laos is able to supply very little of these products.
He underlined the need for Lao entrepreneurs to partner with Chinese counterparts on the cultivation of crops for export to China, saying this would ease export procedure requirements.
In fact, the government has been pushing for higher production for export to China for several years, but investment in this regard falls far short of enabling quota figures to be met.
China has given Laos an annual quota of 50,000 tonnes of Lao rice and 500,000 cattle but producers have been able to supply fewer than 20,000 tonnes of rice and only about 2,000 cattle.
“We can export more than 2,000 cattle, but we have no more cattle to export,” the PM told Assembly members.
He also told Assembly members that the government recently presented a plan to promote investment along the Laos-China railway to the Politburo.
The premier told the session he had asked his deputy in charge of economic affairs, Dr Sonexay Siphandone, to finalise the plan and present it to NA members so they could encourage businesses to invest in the production of goods.