The Department of Agriculture and Forestry, alongside Xuanye (Laos) Co., Ltd., held a ceremony on 5 December in Vientiane Capital, to inaugurate a new freight train transporting bananas from Laos to China.
The event saw attendance from Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Mr. Kikeo Singnavong, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Mr. Bountheung Duangsavanh, Vice President of the Vientiane Capital People’s Assembly, Ms. Lumphoy Siakachan and officials from other relevant sectors.
Since 2012, Laos and China have signed 12 bilateral agreements to import and export goods, and the terms, and conditions for banana export were signed in 2013, said the Director General of the Lao Department of Agriculture, Mr. Bounchanh Kombounyasith, at the ceremony.
According to Mr. Bounchan, constructing a new railway to export bananas and other agricultural products to China is significant because it creates a potential for the country to generate revenue, attract investors, and overcome economic obstacles posed by Covid-19.
The director general added that the department of agriculture is focusing on promoting agricultural production within the country to reduce imports and maintain the foreign currency reserves in the country. And exporting agricultural products to other countries would help in bringing in more foreign reserves as well.
Chairman of Hunan Xuanye Ecological Agriculture Development Co., Ltd, Mr. Xu Guowu, also stated that the corporation is making every effort to construct a modern industrial-agricultural zone in Vientiane Capital.
The purpose, according to Mr. Xu Guowu, is to develop a complete industrial chain for the export of agricultural products from Laos, that would look at improving crop quality, planting, harvesting, storage, and transit of the produce.
Mr. Xu Guowo also added that the firm plans to construct a food storage facility in Laos with a maximum capacity of 200,000 tonnes, making it the first transnational food storage in the country.
By 2025, Laos expects to achieve its aim of exporting 3 million tons of agricultural products to China annually, creating an export value of more than USD 4 billion per year and allowing 330,000 Lao farmers to earn a good living, stated Mr. Xu Guowo.