Laos and China cooperate in building low-carbon demonstration zone


VIENTIANE, April 27 (Xinhua): China and Laos have been cooperating to build the Vientiane Saysettha Development Zone (SDZ) into a low-carbon demonstration model for the country and South-East Asian countries at large.

"After implementing the low-carbon demonstration zone project in (the) SDZ, we will install only solar lamps along the road. (You will see) neatly planted trees on both sides of the road," Khienkham Phoudchanthavongsa, deputy general manager of the Lao-China Joint Venture Investment Co., Ltd. (LCJV), told Xinhua.

"There also will be new flowers and shrubs under the trees on the sidewalks, a comprehensive pipe network buried underground, which automatically irrigates with reclaimed water, and new energy vehicles running on the road," Phoudchanthavongsa added.

The LCJV, mainly invested by China's Yunnan Construction and Investment Holding Group (YCIH), is the company that undertakes the SDZ construction, which actively engages with environment ministries of both China and Laos to promote the project.

"We are fully aware of the great responsibility and doing our best to help improve the ability to deal with climate change here, through our practical cooperation with the Lao side," Liu Hu, head of the YCIH in Laos and chairman of the LCJV, told Xinhua.

According to Liu, the project is one of the 10 low-carbon demonstration zones which are developed by China in developing countries.

The Chinese government also plans to provide the SDZ with solar street lights, new energy vehicles and portable monitoring equipment, among others.

On July 16, 2020, the environment ministers of China and Laos signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the construction of the low-carbon demonstration zone at a video conference.

The project is an important part in the green and sustainable development cooperation in the implementation of the action plan on the China-Laos community with a shared future, Liu said.

The use of low-carbon materials can reduce energy consumption and emissions, said Liu, adding that the introduction of low-carbon and environmental protection concepts and the cultivation of a new, green and modern way of working and living can effectively promote the implementation of the green and environmental development concepts in the SDZ.

In addition, the project will strengthen the consensus between China and Laos in addressing climate change and green and low-carbon transition, and boost the regional cooperation between China and countries in the Indochina Peninsula in tackling climate change, Liu said.

Meanwhile, the project, according to Liu, will also help the SDZ grow into a model of low-carbon and environmentally-friendly place in Laos and even among Southeast Asian countries, and become a benchmark project for implementing the concept of sustainable development under the framework of the Belt and Road cooperation.

The project is moving forward well, Wang Weikun, general manager of the LCJV, told Xinhua, saying that his company maintains close coordination with both the Chinese and Lao authorities to ensure the materials provided by China are transported and handed over to the SDZ in a timely way.

The "Vientiane Saysettha Low-Carbon Demonstration Zone" could be officially launched this year.

"I am very proud to participate in it," Thongkhoun Loungleuangchanh, a Laos staff member working for the LCJV, said on Saturday. "The construction of a low-carbon demonstration zone in Laos is a brand-new concept, and we are making it a reality."

Located in Vientiane, capital of Laos, the SDZ covers an area of 11.5 square km. It is a key cooperation project between the governments of China and Laos, a Chinese national overseas economic and trade cooperation zone, and a special economic zone of Laos at a state-level.

It carries the functions of an industrial park and a new town of the Lao capital with a total planned investment of about 5 billion U.S. dollars. The project is being jointly developed by the YCIH and the municipal government of Vientiane. - Xinhua
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