VIENTIANE, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- Laos has earned more from the sale of rice to China in the past few years due to trade preference arrangements between the two countries.
In 2017, the value of rice sold by Laos to China was 5.6 million U.S. dollars. This figure increased to 7.25 million U.S. dollars in 2018 and to 14.54 million U.S. dollars in 2019, according to Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce.
The Chinese market is increasingly attractive to businesses across a range of fields. This is driven by rapidly changing demographics in China, along with rising incomes, increased consumer spending and an increasingly open business environment, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Wednesday.
China's economic growth has increased and plays an important role in the ASEAN economy, said the report. The trade preferences which Laos and China are party to include the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA), said the report.
As a result, trade growth between Laos and China has sharply increased, particularly under the ACFTA.
The Trade Preferences offer Lao entrepreneurs the chance to export more goods to China as these arrangements provide special and differential treatment, mainly in terms of tariff reduction or exemption and foreign investment attraction.
Laos has an export quota of 50,000 tons of polished rice from the Chinese government. However, the effects of natural disasters may pose challenges for Lao rice exporters in meeting the target, said the report.
China is Laos' largest rice export market, and the country's second-biggest trading partner.