THE VIENTIANE TIMES/ANN: Laos has achieved its target for exporting rice to China this month after the IDP Rice Mill of Laos signed a trading agreement with China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation (Cofco) in November.
Last year, the Chinese government agreed to purchase 20,000 tonnes of rice from Laos through Xuanye (Lao) Co Ltd, but up to October the country had exported just 16,800 tonnes, according to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.
The company first exported 1,000 tonnes of rice and will be exporting the remaining 2,200 tonnes by the end of this month, Minister of Industry and Commerce Khemmani Pholsena informed Parliament.
The government plans to export more rice to China in the near future as well as other agricultural products.
To increase the exports to China, the government will support Lao companies and encourage them to register with the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) of the PRC in China, she said.
Last year, Laos earned more than $31.16 million from rice exports, with the major markets being Vietnam, Thailand and China. However, the figure was lower than that for 2016, according to the ministry statistics.
This year, the government is hoping to earn more than $45.56 million from rice exports.
For other crops, the ministry’s Department of Trade Promotion is negotiating to help sugar producers export more product to China.
China is still the largest rice export market for Laos, and the second biggest trading partner of the country.
In the first eight months of this year, Lao’s exports to China comprised 38 per cent of its total exports, excluding electricity, of which Thailand gets 28 per cent and Vietnam 19 per cent.
China mainly imports wood, ore sand, rubber and rubber products, copper and copper products and fertilisers from Laos. VIENTIANE TIMES/ANN
The trade value of exported products to China in the first six months of this year reached $619 million and around $1.27 billion to Thailand, of which electricity earned the largest revenue.
The export value to China had reached $372.5 million in 2013, $672.7 in 2014, $1 billion in 2015 and $1.13 billion in 2016.
The total trade value of both countries reached $3 billion last year, according to a Laos-China Cooperation Commission report.