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Trade between Chongqing and Laos Rising 14% Yearly Under RCEP

With the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) implementation and the China-Laos Railway opening, the China (Chongqing) – Laos Economic and Trade Cooperation Exchange Meeting was held in Southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality on July 5. The related departments explored ways to strengthen economic, trade, and investment cooperation between Chongqing and Laos. 


The China (Chongqing)-Laos Economic and Trade Cooperation Exchange Meeting was held in Chongqing on July 5. (iChongqing/ Chen Zhan)

Chongqing invested 63.86 million U.S. dollars in Laos

Data shows that China is Laos’ largest investment source, export market, and second-largest trading partner, and Chongqing seizes great opportunities to deepen the bilateral trade volume and investment cooperation. In 2021, the total import and export volume between Chongqing and Laos was 390 million yuan, going up 14% yearly. So far, Chongqing has invested 63.86 million U.S. dollars in Laos directly. 

As a flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative, the China-Laos Railway, which departs from Chongqing, can reach Lao capital Vientiane in four days via Yunnan Province, shortening the freight time by nearly 20 days compared with the traditional sea transport. Then through the railroad and intermodal railway transport, it takes only one day to reach Bangkok, Thailand, and other major cities in the South Central Peninsula countries. 

As of the end of May, Chongqing has operated 111 trains through the China-Laos Railway of the New International Land-sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC), transporting 2,690 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) with a cargo value of 490 million yuan. The cargo volume and value are at the forefront of cities operating the China-Laos Railway.

China-Laos Railway

A picture of the China-Laos Railway. (Photo provided to iChongqing)

Laos Banana Base: 100% sold to China

At the meeting, the New Land-sea Corridor Operation Co., Ltd signed the cooperation agreement with related enterprises to jointly built the Laos Stone and the Laos Banana Exhibition and Trading Centers, taking the ILSTC Chongqing Waterless Port as the carrier to build a centralized purchasing and distribution system. 

The Laos Jinsui Agricultural Company is one of the collaborated enterprises this time. Features agricultural planting, the company is one of the key agricultural leading enterprises in the country. The company has invested in Laos since 2014 and has more than 30,000 acres of planting land in Laos. 

“Jinsui is northern Laos’s largest and most industrialized agricultural production base. It produces more than 60,000 tons of fresh bananas annually and sells 100% of them to China, of which about 60% are sold to Chengdu and Chongqing areas,” said Liang Shengzhong, the general manager of the company. 


In the future, more Laos products will be exported to Chongqing. (iChongqing/ Chen Zhan)

Talking about why they chose to invest in Laos, Liang said the climate, land, and labor resources play a significant role. “However, the backward logistics from Laos to China has seriously restricted the banana industry’s development in Laos, represented by long logistics time, high cost, insufficient capacity, and no cold chain storage,” he added. 

The cooperation of this time is a great opportunity for the China-Laos industry economy. Liang said that next they would choose Chongqing Waterless Port for customs clearance because it can radiate to southwest and northwest provinces which is convenient for sales and distribution. Besides, the cold chain storage and collection center will be built in the port, providing necessary conditions for the tropical fruits.  

In the future, the ILSTC and Laos enterprises will work together to promote economic cooperation in all aspects of logistics, trade, industry, finance and data, bringing more tangible benefits to the people of both countries, said Liu Yizhen, Assistant to General Manager of the New Land-sea Corridor Operation Co., Ltd. 


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