Lao's deputy prime minister and Chinese CEOs discuss investment opportunities

By Wang Shuqing in Nanning (chinadaily.com.cn)

Updated: 2021-09-15

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The Round-Table Dialogue between Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Planning and Investment Sonexay Siphandone and CEOs from China takes place in Nanning, South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, on Sept 11, 2021. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

A round-table dialogue between Lao's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Planning and Investment Sonexay Siphandone and CEOs from China was held in Nanning, South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, on Friday.

"The talk has provided an important platform for both investment cooperation between Laos and China and exchanges between Chinese-funded enterprises and Lao leaders," said Lao's Ambassador to China Khamphao Ernthavanh.

In 2020, Chinese companies' direct investment to Laos reached $1.24 billion, a year-on-year increase of 8.9 percent, said Gao Yan, chairperson of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

From January to June this year, the bilateral trade volume between the two countries hit $2.3 billion, a year-on-year increase of 48.1 percent, Gao said.

Since 2009, 12 round-table dialogues have been held between state leaders from Southeast Asian countries and CEOs from China, boosting bilateral investment cooperation, trade, and exchanges between China and ASEAN countries, said Lan Tianli, governor of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

The region hopes to take the opportunities provided by the dialogue to further deepen its cooperation with Laos, promote the connectivity of infrastructure, and jointly build the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor, to better serve the China-ASEAN community with a shared future, Lan said at the meeting.

China is the largest foreign investor in Laos, undertaking a total of 815 projects worth more than $16 billion between 1989 and July 2021, said Siphandone, adding that the meeting will help attract more Chinese-funded enterprises to invest in Laos.

On behalf of the Lao government, Siphandone also expressed his thanks to the Chinese government for offering medical assistance, including offering equipment and vaccines against COVID-19, to his country for free in a timely and efficient manner.

Discussions also were held between Siphandone and heads of China Southern Power Grid; China Datang Corporation; China-ASEAN Information Harbor Co; China State Construction Engineering Corporation; and China Railway International Co on investment policy introduction, investment intention exchanges, promoting cooperation projects worth more than $9.29 billion in fields such as infrastructure construction, power, and digital economy.

Themed "Sharing New Opportunities in Development, Seeking New Achievements in Cooperation", the event was hosted by CCPIT, People's Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, and Lao Ministry of Planning and Investment.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Laos and China, and it is also the Laos-China Friendship Year.

The live video meeting was held under the framework of the 18th China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit.