Chi­nese part­ners help re­duce poverty in Laos

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

VI­EN­TIANE— The peo­ple of China and its South- East Asian neigh­bor Laos have en­joyed the ben­e­fits of am­i­ca­ble diplo­matic and cul­tural re­la­tions, as well as healthy trade and ex­change across a shared fron­tier for many aeons.

Now cel­e­brat­ing the 55th an­niver­sary of of­fi­cial diplo­matic re­la­tions be­tween the two na­tion states, both coun­tries and their cit­i­zens con­tinue to en­joy in­creas­ing ben­e­fits of a part­ner­ship that con­tin­ues to deepen and evolve con­tin­u­ously to the present.

An im­por­tant part in the strength­en­ing this re­la­tion­ship can be seen in the con­tri­bu­tion to poverty re­duc­tion in Laos be­ing made by Chi­nese com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing joint ven­ture part­ners.

For ex­am­ple, in the grow­ing hy­dro­elec­tric power gen­er­a­tion sec­tor in Laos, Chi­nese com­pa­nies are con­tribut­ing to poverty re­duc­tion ef­forts through var­i­ous cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity ini­tia­tives.

Re­main­ing one of the world’s least- de­vel­oped coun­tries, Laos oc­cu­pies more than 236,000 square- km of land and is home to a pop­u­la­tion es­ti­mated at less than 6.5 mil­lion peo­ple.

Boast­ing lime­stone karst peaks and lux­u­ri­ant trop­i­cal forests home to rare wildlife and splen­did vis­tas, the coun­try’s high­lands wel­come greater num­bers of in­ter­na­tional tourists each year. How­ever, amidst the scenes of nat­u­ral beauty re­main the hard re­al­i­ties of re­mote­ness and lo­gis­tics that have been bar­ri­ers to vi­tal ser­vices and the so­cio- eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment for less- welloff in­hab­i­tants.

The ma­jor­ity of the coun­try’s pop­u­la­tion con­tin­ues to live in re­mote moun­tain­ous vil­lages as they have done from gen­er­a­tion to gen­er­a­tion and due to a lack of in­fra­struc­ture, es­pe­cially poor ac­cess to trans­port and in­come from trade, many have lived their lives iso­lated from es­sen­tial ser­vices and op­por­tu­ni­ties to es­cape struc­tural poverty.— Xin­hua

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