Business / Economy

From commodities to satellites: China, Laos seeing more cooperation

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-12-01 10:44

VIENTIANE -- China and Laos have witnessed rapid development in economic, trade cooperation in the past years, evolving from simple commodity trading to a higher level of cooperation.

On Nov 21, 2015, Laos' first ever satellite was launched into space from Xichang satellite launching center in China. Earlier on Nov 13, 2015, the long-awaited railway project connecting China and Laos had been signed by the two governments thus entering the implementation phase.

Attending the launching of Lao Sat-1 satellite on Nov 21, Yao Bin, Permanent Vice Chairman of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Laos and Chairman of Kritaphong Group Co Ltd was moved to tears.

"I was so excited. Seven years of effort have finally yielded fruitful results, which will further consolidate the community of shared destiny and the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between China and Laos," Yao, who has been a promoter and a participant of the satellite project during its seven-year period, told Xinhua.

Kritaphong Group has also joined in promoting a railway project connecting the two countries by introducing the prospects and socio-economic benefits of the project to local government and residents.

Having worked in Laos since the early 1990s, Yao Bin has witnessed the increased development of economic cooperation between China and Laos. From his first success of trading bicycles and tiles in Laos in 1990, Yao has expanded his business to construction engineering.

Yao has also cooperated with various Chinese State-owned and private enterprises in fields of real estate, construction materials, hotels, and communications, among others.

The promotion of satellite and railway projects are among the high-profile projects that his corporation has engaged in.

"China and Laos enjoy high political mutual trust and a win-win economic cooperation. The cooperation between the two countries has been evolving from low level to a higher and more intensified level; turning from simple trade to exports of complete sets of equipment and cooperation in high technology," Yao said.

"The cooperation in satellite and railway projects are the two landmarks in the development of bilateral ties," Yao told Xinhua.

In the early nineties, more than 90 percent of daily necessities and production materials in Laos were imported as there was no industry in the country. At that time, many Chinese people found the opportunities to do business in Laos.

"I started my business in Laos with 1,000 yuan's worth of daily necessities placed in front of people's homes to sell. Lao people are very kind. They did not bargain. I sold out all the goods within four to five days," Song Jiefeng, Executive Vice President of the Hunan Chamber of Commerce in Laos, recalled.

After that, Song, together with his fellow villagers, continued to bring commodities to Lao's rural areas to sell. "We had meals and slept along the road whenever we could. Sometimes, we had to sleep outside local residents' homes," Song said.

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