Lao officials and Chinese CEOs meet at China-ASEAN Expo, September 12, 2021

Lao senior officials and Chinese CEOs met for a roundtable discussion at the 18th China-ASEAN Expo on Sept. 10 to further consolidate wide-ranging collaboration between China and Laos.

Lao senior officials and Chinese CEOs meet for roundtable discussions at the 18th China-ASEAN Expo, Sept. 10, 2021. [Photo provided to]

Themed "Sharing new opportunities in development, seeking new achievements in cooperation," the event was attended, in-person and remotely, by Chinese experts, CEOs and Lao officials from various fields including power, infrastructure, communication, investment and finance.  

Gao Yan, chairperson of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) and director of the Organizing Committee of the China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit, emphasized the fast growth of China-Laos economic and trade cooperation. According to Gao, in 2020, Chinese enterprises invested $1.24 billion directly into Laos, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, up 8.9% year on year. 

Gao noted that the CCPIT will serve as a high-quality platform for Chinese and Lao companies to deepen exchanges in finance, transportation, infrastructure, power and mineral resources, processing and manufacturing, and push the building of a China-Laos community with a shared future to a higher level.

Lao senior officials and Chinese CEOs meet for roundtable discussions at the 18th China-ASEAN Expo, Sept. 10, 2021. [Photo provided to]

Lan Tianli, chairman of Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, first outlined the fruitful cooperation between Guangxi and Laos. Then, he expressed hopes that the two sides can, by seizing the opportunities brought by the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation, and the upcoming operation of the China-Laos railway, expand collaborations in tourism, education, healthcare, hydropower, agriculture and forestry, and project contracting, among others. 

Sonexay Siphandone, Lao deputy prime minister and minister of planning and investment, highlighted the time-honored friendship between the Lao and Chinese peoples."This year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Laos," Sonexay said."The two sides have long maintained stable political relations."

Sonexay also appreciated the free assistance of healthcare expertise, medical equipment and vaccines provided by China to Laos during its fight against COVID-19.

After the speeches, leaders from China Southern Power Grid Company, China State Construction Engineering Corporation, and China-ASEAN Information Harbor Co., Ltd., conducted extensive dialogues via video link with Lao officials such as Khamchan Vongsenboun, vice minister of planning and investment, Daovong Phonekeo, minister of energy and mines, Vathana Dalaloy, deputy governor of the Bank of the Lao PDR, and other Lao leaders from the Ministry of Public Works and Transport and the Ministry of Finance.

Their discussions shed light on diverse topics, including power grid connectivity, clean energy, the digital economy, preference polices, green and smart construction, and open regional economic development, which will facilitate win-win cooperation between China and Laos.