Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Thailand ships first fruits to China using Lao railway

Thailand ships first fruits to China using Lao railway

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Business operators from Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar are now using the Laos-China railway to import and export goods to and from China and beyond. LAOS-CHINA RAILWAY CO LTD

Thailand ships first fruits to China using Lao railway

The Laos-China railway has been used for the first time to carry Thai fruit to China, according to a report in Thailand’s The Nation on March 28.

Two containers carrying 40 tonnes of durian and one container filled with 20 tonnes of coconuts from Rayong made their way to Thanaleng Station in Laos and entered China on a train on March 27.

Somkiat Mansiripibul, the manager of Kaocharoen Train Transport which operates the Laos-China railway, was quoted in The Nation as saying that rail appears to be the fastest mode of transport, adding that it takes just four or five days for goods to be shipped from Rayong to Kunming in China.

Although there are still some problems in sending Thai fruit to China because of the Covid-19 crisis, Somkiat said steps are being taken to overcome these difficulties.

The agencies involved are working to mitigate these problems and speed up the transport of goods to China, he said, adding that efforts are also underway to reduce the cost of sending goods to China and make the process more efficient.

In January this year, the first shipment of 1,000 tonnes of Thai rice was delivered to China via the Laos-China railway.

Thailand is keen to use the railway to ship agricultural produce, especially orchids, rubber, cassava, palm oil and fishery and livestock products to China. Thai fruit shipped by rail can reach Chongqing in just one or two days.

Opening for service in December last year, the Laos-China Railway has opened up the possibility of extending export routes to Central Asia, the Middle East, Russia and Europe.

Business operators from Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar are now using the railway to import and export goods to and from China and beyond.

Laos is exporting iron ore, dried cassava and cassava powder to China via the railway and the government is also keen to ship more agricultural produce to China.

As of March 3, the Laos-China railway had carried more than 1.7 million passengers, including 1.55 million on the section of railway in China, and 1.1 million tonnes of goods, according to the Lao News Agency.

It is expected that the railway will cut the cost of transport through Laos by 30-40 per cent compared to travel by road, thus giving a boost to trade and investment.

The railway has operated 350 international train journeys carrying over 250,000 tonnes of freight since the start of 2022.

Laos is recording a steady increase in passenger traffic with more than 150,000 passengers travelling on the Laos-China railway over the past three months.

VIENTIANE TIMES/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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