Laos to boost export of agricultural products to China

A fisherman pulls his net from the Mekong river in Wiang Kaen, a district in the northern Thai province of Chiang Rai bordering Laos. Photo: AFP/Chrisophe Archambault. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

VIENTIANE, Jul 18, 2020, Xinhua. The Laos government is cooperating with different sectors and entrepreneurs to improve the quality of agricultural products in order to increase exports to China, The Star reported.

The country earned US$560mil in 2019 by exporting agricultural products, with 80 per cent of the goods being sold to China, according to Lao Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

China is the largest market for exports from Laos, which benefits from the quotas for 50,000 tons of rice and 500,000 cattle a year, local daily Vientiane Times on Wednesday quoted Laos Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Lien Thikeo as saying in the ninth Ordinary Session of the National Assembly’s eighth legislature.

In addition, the ministry has successfully negotiated market opportunities and regulated hygienic conditions for export crops and related products, including rice, corn, cassava, bananas, watermelons and sweet potatoes, to China.

Currently, the ministry is coordinating with the General Administration of Customs of China to draft conditions and specifications for the export of dried tobacco leaves, passion fruit and oranges.

The two sides have also agreed on market openings for durian, longan, dragon fruit, jackfruit and job’s tears, said the report.

Lien said that so far, three companies have completed 90 percent of livestock quarantine centers capable of processing 228,000 animals annually for export. Lao authorities are waiting for a technical team from China to inspect and confirm the facilities for official use.

In order to increase the export of agricultural products, the Lao Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry will coordinate with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and entrepreneurs to actively work with China to negotiate on agricultural product lists, which will be confirmed along with the necessary sanitary and phytosanitary measures.

The ministry will also cooperate with China to conduct inspections at international and local border checkpoints between the two countries to ensure the prompt movement of farm products, especially fresh produce.

The value of products exported from Laos to China has continuously increased every year as part of the strengthening and deepening of cooperation between the two governments.

During 2015-19, the value of exports from Laos to China increased by more than 100 million U.S. dollars a year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

Laos earned around $US1 billion in 2015 from exports to China, US$1.13 billion in 2016, US$1.23 billion, US$1.4 billion in 2018 and US$1.7 billion in 2019.

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