Lao President Bounnhang Vorachit receives an interview with Xinhua and other Chinese media in Lao capital Vientiane, May 11, 2017. Bounnhang Vorachit said on Thursday that the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative has been bringing tangible benefits to the participants including Laos. (Xinhua/Li Sha)
by Xinhua writer Zhang Jianhua
VIENTIANE, May 12 (Xinhua) -- Lao President Bounnhang Vorachit said on Thursday that the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative has been bringing tangible benefits to the participants including Laos.
In an interview with Xinhua and other Chinese media in Lao capital Vientiane, the top Lao leader, who will attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation scheduled for May 14-15 in Beijing, said the initiative has played a positive role in promoting regional inter-connectivity and integration.
"No single country can solve all kinds of problems on its own. Mutual benefit and win-win cooperation are the reality of today's world," he said.
"The Belt and Road Initiative was proposed by China at a right time, and helps strengthen cooperation through facility connection, financial connection and people-to-people connection," he noted.
The initiative helps create opportunities and improve the socio-economy in Laos and other developing countries, Bounnhang said, citing the construction of a Laos-China railway project, which, as a "prioritized development policy of Laos," is turning Laos from a "land-locked" nation to a "land-linked" one.
"I believe that the Laos-China railway is an important project of the Belt and Road Initiative and will help Laos achieve inter-connectivity in infrastructure construction, trade and investment, as well as people-to-people linkage," he said.
He announced that during the upcoming forum, the Lao Ministry of Planning and Investment is expected to sign with China a cooperation plan to further promote the Belt and Road Initiative to benefit the two countries.
"I'm sure that the implementation of the plan will benefit Lao social and economic development. I highly appreciate the early harvest of the initiative," Bounnhang said.
The Lao president said his country has geographical advantages in the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, and China has an edge in finance, talents and technology. Thus cooperation between the two countries can help Laos realize its development targets.
In his view, the Belt and Road Initiative also facilitates the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) mechanism among China and relevant countries like Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, and enhances the integration within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
"The Belt and Road Initiative has made positive contributions to the inter-connectivity in Greater Mekong Subregion, in ASEAN region and in the whole world. The cooperation framework between Laos and China focuses on mutual assistance and joint development," he noted.
According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, 29 heads of state and government will attend the Belt and Road forum.