Source: Vientiane Times
Fruit and vegetables from Laos will soon be available on market shelves in Shanghai, China, under a new deal signed at the ongoing 5th China International Import Expo (CIIE), local media reported.
The Department of Trade Promotion of Laos’ Ministry of Industry and Commerce signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Yangpu District government at the Expo, which is taking place from November 5-11 in Shanghai, according to SHINE – a new digital media product powered by the Shanghai Daily.
Under the MOU, signed to boost trade and commerce between China and Laos, Yangpu will support more quality agricultural products from Laos to enter local markets and meet the needs of local residents, the report added.
To facilitate the move, the Lao Imported Food Distribution Centre will be established in Yangpu to serve Shanghai and other cities in the Yangtze River Delta region.
The main agricultural products from Laos include rice, bananas, potatoes and maize. Some products, including sweet maize, dried cassava and passion fruit are especially popular among Chinese consumers.
Leading Internet firms in Yangpu will provide better digital resources and e-commerce platforms for the sale of the Lao agricultural produce in China, the district government was quoted as saying.
Cooperation between the Lao ministry and Yangpu in this regard will be facilitated by the Laos-China Railway and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP).
Enterprises from all of RCEP’s member countries are attending this year’s China International Import Expo, while the number of countries along the Belt and Road Initiative and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation countries attending the annual event has also increased. Laos has been a participant for five consecutive years.
China has become a key export market for Lao goods, especially agricultural produce, following the opening of the Laos-China Railway at the end of 2021.
In 2021, the value of trade between the two countries soared to US$4.35 billion, an increase of 21.4 percent compared to the previous year, according to the Laos-China Cooperation Commission.
The value of goods imported by Laos from China was recorded at US$1.67 billion, an increase of 11.9 percent, while the value of Lao exports rose to US$2.68 billion, an increase of 28.2 percent.
The Lao government believes that the Laos-China Railway, which is part of the Belt and Road Initiative, will be a major boost to economic and trade cooperation between the two neighbours in the coming years.
As of October 31, 2022, the Lao section of the railway, which links Kunming – the capital of China’s Yunnan province to the Lao capital of Vientiane – has shipped more than 1.7 million tonnes of goods, with an average monthly growth rate of 17.09 percent.