Representatives of 178 coffee agents and 69 domestic and foreign coffee companies have showcased their regional products at the Laos Coffee Festival in Pakse, Chanpassak province.

The first festival, which took place on October 24-26, was organised as part of the country’s efforts to prepare for its integration into the International Coffee Organisation (ICO) and the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015.

On this occasion, a workshop on coffee strategies with a view to converting coffee plantations into tourist destinations was held, with the participation of leaders from the coffee industry, ASEAN coffee associations and ICO representatives.

Laos currently grows coffee trees on 87,000 hectares.

The Boloven Plateau is the country’s most important production area, with an estimated 68,000 to 70,000ha of coffee plantations.

Last year, the country exported more than 30,000 tonnes of coffee beans, worth almost 73 million USD. In January this year alone, Laos exported almost 2,000 tonnes of coffee beans worth around 3.7 million USD according to the Lao Coffee Association.

The coffee sector makes an important contribution to the country’s socio-economic development, especially the Government's objective of poverty alleviation.-VNA