BRI cooperation brings numerous fruitful results, improving people’s livelihood in Laos
Since the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a number of development projects have been started and implemented, creating job opportunities, contributing to the development and improving people’s livelihood in Laos, as well as providing stable dynamics for economic cooperation between China and Laos.
“This year marks the 10th anniversary of the belt and road news proposed in 2013. It is clear that this Initiative has delivered numerous fruitful results, and Laos has reaped significant rewards from the scheme,” Director General and editor-in-chief of local daily Vientiane Times, Thonglor Duangsavanh, delivered a keynote speech and shared with other foreign participants the tangible outcomes of the BRI cooperation in Laos, at the 2023 Media Cooperation Forum on Belt and Road held in Beijing last Thursday.
He also noted that construction of the China-Laos Railway, a part of the BRI, was completed and put into service in December 2021. The initiative is enabling Laos to convert from being a landlocked country to a land link, bolstered by the high-speed railway, which links the Lao capital Vientiane with Kunming, the capital of southwest China’s Yunnan Province.
It is hoped that the railway’s passenger and freight services will strengthen regional logistics and transport connecting to the world.
The China-Laos Railway will also be one of the key means of transport for tourists during the Visit Laos Year 2024, serving to attract visitors in greater numbers.
On Oct. 16, the Chinese Embassy in Laos, together with Laos-China Railway Co., Ltd. (LCRC), and the China Cultural Center in Laos, held the award ceremony of a short video competition themed “My Story with China-Laos Railway”, aimed at celebrating the 10th anniversary of the BRI.
The competition focused on the stories of Lao people with the China-Laos Railway, attracting many people to participate enthusiastically.
At the ceremony held in Lao capital Vientiane, Bounsouk Khangxay was announced the winner of the competition. The winning videos showed that the China-Laos Railway has helped the development of Laos, created benefits for local people, changed the face of socio-economic development, and turned the dreams of the people along the railway corridor into reality.
Lao President Thongloun Sisoulith reiterated his support for the BRI during a speech at a sub-forum after the opening ceremony of the third Belt and Road Initiative Forum for International Cooperation last Wednesday.
In his keynote speech, the President stressed the importance of the initiative and its positive outcomes over the past 10 years, saying the BRI played a significant role in development, bolstering multiple forms of cooperation at different levels in the regional and international arenas.
He said the initiative has created and facilitated a massive amount of development, especially in relation to integrated and linked infrastructure in developing nations.
He also cited the outstanding results of the BRI in Laos, such as the construction of the China-Laos Railway, the Laos-China Economic Corridor, and an expressway. In the fields of trade and economic cooperation, projects relating to agriculture, industry and clean energy are also under development.
The China-Laos Railway, a landmark project of high-quality BRI cooperation, has created more than 110,000 jobs for Lao people since its opening and has drawn the interest of numerous Chinese and local young talents who pursue their professional careers on the railway.
The Nam Ou River Cascade Hydropower Project, built under the framework of the BRI, is highly valued by the Chinese and Lao governments and peoples. The project has generated over 13.3 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity as of June 2023.
More foreign and local business operators are eyeing lucrative opportunities in Laos and ploughing more investment into the country, thanks to improved infrastructure and connectivity as a result of the BRI.
As part of the BRI, the Vientiane Saysettha Development Zone is being jointly built in the Lao capital by Laos and China, attracting huge investment, General Manager of Lao-China Joint Venture Investment Co., Ltd. Xiong Jun, told the media in June.
So far, investment by the enterprises in the zone has reached 700 million U.S. dollars, with 6,000 jobs being created, he said.
Laos has voiced support for the next stages of international cooperation under the BRI following its many visible successes over the past decade.
In 2013, China proposed the BRI to foster new drivers for global development. To date, more than 150 countries and over 30 international organizations have signed documents under the BRI framework, bringing an economic boon to participating countries.