Vientiane, Laos (Photo: vietnamnet.com)
Vientiane (VNA) – The bilateral trade between Laos and China could drop further without any prompt measures, a Lao official has said.

According to Director General of the Foreign Trade Policy Department under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce Laohoua Cheuching, two-way trade rose to 3.6 billion USD in 2014 from 1.3 billion USD in 2011, but slipped to 2.78 billion USD in 2015.

The decline was partially due to the impact of the global economic slowdown, reducing prices of mining ores and rubber – key export products to China, he said.

Timber is also a major income earner of Laos, however the Government is tightening measures to eradicate illegal logging and ban exports of all types of unprocessed wood, resulting in a sharp decrease in timber exports to China, he added.

The Lao Prime Minister’s Order No.15 issued on May 13 on strengthening inspection measures on timber businesses is expected to worsen the situation.

Laohoua said if the country fails to see new product exports to China , the bilateral trade would continue to decline.

China is one of the main trade partners of Laos and the biggest investor of the Southeast Asian country.

Chinese companies are running 760 investment projects worth 6.7 billion USD in Laos, mainly targeting mining, hydropower, agriculture, finance, trade centres and special economic zones.-VNA