How can Lao entrepreneurs benefit from CAEXPO 2018?
The 15th China-Asean Expo (CAEXPO 2018) held during September 12-15 at Nanning in China provided business opportunities to numerous companies. This year’s event had more than 5,000 booths set up by more than 2,500 enterprises, including 82 booths from 52 Lao companies.
Vientiane Times spoke to Lao exhibitors to find out what they thought of the expo.

Mr Thieng Somsat, Director of Meely Decor Sole Ltd: My company took decorative items to exhibit and sell at CAEXPO. All commodities, including wooden sculptures, attracted a lot of buyers and visitors. One aim of my firm was to expand exports to markets in China, which have stronger purchasers. This was the eighth year that my firm participated in this exhibition. The event is very important for the business sector, especially my enterprise. Besides, my company displayed furniture products and supported the decoration of the Lao pavilion at the event. I was very glad to be part of the expo and very happy to see the very good responses to our products from buyers.
Ms Pavinaphon Bounmy from the Phanphet agriculture development company limited (Phanphet Farm): My company exhibited non-sticky rice and sticky rice products under the brand name Tingthong. This was the first time we participated in this big expo in Nanning. We shipped 200 kg of rice products to this event. One objective of my company was to look for partners in China. I was very happy to see a lot of buyers and visitors who were very interested in my company’s products. I strongly expect my company will be able to find business partners in China because our rice products are healthy and organic. I think many business people are interested to exhibit their products at this expo because it provides a huge opportunity to them and also helps promote trade integration among countries and regions. After returning home, I have decided that my company will focus on improving its packaging to meet the demands of overseas markets.
Mrs Somphet Khodsimeuang, Director of Pasand Handicraft: I represented entrepreneurs of Vientiane province while displaying and selling handmade products at the expo in Nanning. There were two enterprises that exhibited handmade textiles and wooden furniture products and exchanged trade experiences with overseas companies from Asean and China. Many foreign business people are interested to be our partners. Having exhibited at the event, I observed from customer demands that my enterprise has to do more to improve products so that they match the needs of markets in China. We must also prepare for more Chinese visitors as Laos selected Vangvieng, a top tourist destination in Vientiane province, to be the City of Charm for promoting tourism and investment at the expo.   
Mrs Latsamy Vetsaphong, the owner of Lao Best Company: My firm sent food products to this expo for the second time and I understand the demands of markets in China. This time, we displayed food items and drinks such as tea, fresh fruit juices, dried fruits and chili sauces. They attracted a lot of Chinese visitor and buyers. Next year, I plan to take more products and improve some commodities to meet their requirements. My company hopes this expo will help us find partners and distributors for Lao products, especially food items, which will also help to promote Laos and its food, and encourage investors, traders and tourists from China to visit Laos.

By Monkhay/Manichanh
(Latest Update September 20, 2018)

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