China-ASEAN Monitor: Laos and China to cooperate on low carbon emissions project
TRADE, ECONOMY, AND INVESTMENT
Laos and China to cooperate on low carbon emissions project
(20 July 2020) Laos and China will cooperate on a climate change mitigation project through the construction of a low carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions demonstration area in Saysettha Development Zone (SDZ), Vientiane. China will support the area in SDZ by creating a project plan as well as providing construction equipment and upgrading low CO2 emissions expertise through training and other activities. The low CO2 emissions demonstration area in SDZ is one of 10 of China’s low CO2 emissions demonstration projects in developing countries. The project will implement a low CO2 emissions plan as a model for transportation by using electric vehicles, and assist other sectors, as well as communicating the project publically to strengthen Laos’ climate change mitigation efforts and support sustainable development plans.
Laos to increase export of agricultural products to China
(18 July 2020) Laos is cooperating with different sectors and entrepreneurs to improve the quality of agricultural products in order to increase exports to China. The ministry has successfully negotiated market opportunities and regulated hygienic conditions for export crops and related products, including rice, corn, cassava, bananas, watermelons and sweet potatoes, to China. The ministry is also currently coordinating with the General Administration of Customs of China to draft conditions and specifications for the export of dried tobacco leaves, passion fruit and oranges. According to a report in a local daily, the two sides have also agreed on market openings for durian, longan, dragon fruit, jackfruit and job’s tears.
Malaysia’s InvestKL to roll out global B2B platform with CCB
(15 July 2020) InvestKL Corporation and China Construction Bank (Malaysia) Bhd (CCB) have launched “CCB Match Plus,” a global business-to-business (B2B) one-stop smart matchmaking service platform. The platform, which utilises big data, would allow enterprises to source for financial resources, projects, suppliers and list of products/services internationally. InvestKL chief executive officer Muhammad Azmi Zulkifli said the platform will allow InvestKL to leverage on the bank’s well-established network, primarily Chinese companies looking to expand their operations in ASEAN, particularly those operating in the digital and Industry 4.0 initiatives. CCB Corp will act as a third-party service provider, connecting online and offline channels, domestic and overseas markets, internal and external systems.
Thailand begins 2-prong strategy to deliver perishable goods to China
(19 July 2020) Thailand is bypassing supply-chain roadblocks to deliver its perishables, mainly agricultural and food products, to China, its biggest market in Asia. Since Thailand shares no border with China, perishable goods like fruit and vegetables have traditionally been sent from Thai farms and warehouses by trucks going through either Vietnam or Laos. While ships and planes have also been used, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted this delivery option. Around 80% of farm products from Thailand are normally transported by land to China. Tropical fruits like durian, mangosteen and longan are among the crucial, and most vulnerable, items. In July, Thailand began a 2-stage system, trucking products to Vietnam, where the products are moved into containers on trains, which complete the deliveries to China. There is currently no direct train route between Thailand and China, but the plan to connect the two countries via rail is in the works.
Fruit exports via Vietnam’s Lao Cai border gate increases in first half of 2020
(16 July 2020) Turnover of fruit exports via the border gates with China in the northern Vietnamese province of Lao Cai increased 7% year-on-year in the first half of 2020 to US$14.8 million despite the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Lao Cai province’s department of customs, during this period, close to 27,000 tonnes of lychees were shipped to China through the Kim Thanh border gate. Vietnam sold more than 18,800 tonnes of bananas in the January-June period, a six-fold increase year-on-year while watermelon exports rose 94% year-on-year to US$12.4 million. According to the Lao Cai border gate customs sub-department, the increases were attributed to the effective implementation of e-customs procedures and the one-stop-shop model, speeding up the settlement of administrative procedures.