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Laos urges China to increase rice import quota to 50,000 tonnes

The Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce this week requested China to consider a rice im-port quota of 50,000 tonnes along with accepting other industrial goods as part of efforts to bol-ster bilateral trade.
The call was made by Minister of Industry and Commerce, Ms Khemmani Pholsena on Tuesday during a meeting in Vientiane with a Chinese delegation led by Vice Chairman of the People’s Republic of China National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), Mr Ning Jizhe.
The minister took the opportunity to ask for the Chinese side to consider more quotas for Lao products to Chinese markets this year, especially rice, rubber and other industrial and agricultural goods.
The call for the increased rice quota comes after 20,000 tonnes were shipped to the northern neighbour in 2017 by China’s Xuanye (Lao) Co., Ltd following approval from China’s NDRC.
Ms Khemmani also called for the visiting Chinese delegation to convey the request by the Lao side to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce for further consideration specifically more import quotas for Lao rice, rubber, Phongsaly-grown tobacco and other industrial products.
The Chinese delegation’s official working visit to Laos is in response to an invitation from the Lao side as part of efforts to boost bilateral cooperation between the two nations.
Mr Ning also informed Minister Khemmani that the Chinese delegation’s working visit to Laos was to encourage the implementation of various signed project agreements between Laos and China.
“Most importantly, we aim to push forward the ongoing construction of the Laos-China Rail-way project and the Laos-China economic corridor development project,” he said.
He also called for the industry and commerce minister to help in coordinating with other ministers concerned to shorten the process for importing machinery and other construction equipment for the rail project.
Ms Khemmani, who is Chairman of the Laos-China Cooperation Commission, said her ministry would try hard to push the domestic coordination to ensure the implementation framework of the two nations is on the move as planned. “Additionally, the Lao Ministry of Planning and Investment and NDRC will also need to work on the framework of the Laos-China economic corridor development project and improve the list of projects signed by the two sides,” she said. According to Ms Khemmani, Laos also exported over 55,000 tonnes of sugar to the Chinese market last year, while this year it is projected to export another 100,000 tonnes to China. Laos is expected to produce about 5 million tonnes of rice by 2020 to ensure food security in the country.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update February 21, 2019)

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