Enhancing Connectivity & Sharing Prosperity --- BRI Connecting ASEAN Events Launched in Vientiane

Source:ASEAN-China Centre Convert Chinese

On 27 November 2023, the ASEAN-China Centre (ACC), in collaboration with the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, launched the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Connecting ASEAN Events in Vientiane to take stock of remarkable achievements and look forward to promising prospects of aligning the BRI with the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 (MPAC 2025). 

Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Saleumxay Kommasith of Laos, Vice Chairperson Shen Yueyue of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Union Minister Dr. Thet Thet Khine of Hotels and Tourism of Myanmar, and the ACC Secretary General Shi Zhongjun attended and addressed the opening ceremony. Deputy Secretary-General Satvinder Singh of ASEAN Economic Community sent a video message on behalf of Secretary General Kao Kim Hourn of ASEAN. More than 350 dignitaries and participants were present.

Vice Prime Minister Saleumxay especially applauded the projects under the implementation of BRI such as the China-Laos railway, expressway, and economic corridor, which have made a positive impact on Laos’ transformation from a landlocked country to a land-linked one.  

Vice Chairperson Shen underlined concerted efforts by both China and ASEAN in advancing Belt and Road cooperation as a testament to building a closer China-ASEAN community with a shared future.  

Union Minister Dr. Thet Thet Khine stressed that the synergy between MPAC 2025 and BRI is poised to significantly contribute to regional peace, stability, prosperity and sustainable development. Looking ahead, Secretary General Shi recommended that both ASEAN and China continue to pursue integration, interconnection, innovation and interaction as four critical aspects so as to bring about tangible benefits for our people. Deputy Secretary General Singh thought beyond MPAC 2025 towards further quality synergies with the BRI, in the purpose of securing a seamlessly connected, integrated regional cooperation fostering competitiveness, inclusiveness and a stronger sense of community.

The opening ceremony was followed by the Main Forum titled “A Decade of ASEAN-China Connectivity”, where the guest speakers shared their insights on various areas such as infrastructure upgrading, green development, energy transformation, digital economy, smart technologies, and enhanced people-to-people exchanges, so as to consistently enrich and expand ASEAN-China comprehensive strategic partnership.  

On the same day, the ASEAN(Laos)-China Forum on Trade, Investment and Tourism was also held to tap into the potential of future cooperation among business communities and stakeholders on both sides.