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China and Laos pledged on Tuesday to speed up negotiations on railway construction, with an aim of signing agreements “as soon as possible”.
An intergovernmental agreement on railways is highly desirable in promoting connections between the two neighboring countries, Premier Li Keqiang and visiting Laotian Prime MinisterThongsing Thammavong announced after meeting in Sanya, Hainan province.
Li characterized the Sino-Laos railway as the focus of a major ongoing cooperative effort, and said that China hopes an agreement can be reached “as soon as possible” to set the stage for even more.
Thongsing said Laos also wants to see the rail project yield concrete results soon, as it will enhance cooperation in other sectors.
Laos is one of China’s prime target markets, as the world’s second-largest economy activelypromotes its railway technology and construction expertise overseas.
A rail line connecting Kunming, the provincial capital of Yunnan, with Laos is included in China’smedium-and long-term railway network plans, according to China Railway Corp.
The Export-Import Bank of China agreed to provide loans for the construction of a rail line linkingthe border cities in Yunnan to the Laotian capital, Vientiane, the Vientiane Times quoted LaotianDeputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad as saying.
Both Li and Thongsing Thammavong will attend the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference2014, which takes place from April 8 to 11.
Founded in 2001, the BFA is a nongovernmental and nonprofit international organization committed to regional economic integration and bringing Asian countries closer to their development goals.