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China, Laos sign MoU to build potash fertilizer industrial park

VIENTIANE, March 27 (Xinhua) -- The Lao government and a China-Lao joint venture have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the project of the Asia-Potash International Intelligent Circular Industrial Park.

Tong Yongheng, general manager of the Sino-Agri International Potash Company, and Khamchanh Vongsaenboun, the Lao deputy minister of planning and investment, signed the MoU on Friday in the Lao capital Vientiane, with the attendance of representatives from both sides.

Tong told Xinhua on Monday that the project aims to promote agriculture, industrialization, urbanization, investment and service industry in Laos. It consists of three sections including a potash fertilizer industrial park, a non-potash industrial park, and an Asia-Potash Town. It takes up a total area of about 2,000 hectares in Khammuan province, some 250 km southeast of Vientiane, with an estimated investment of 4.31 billion U.S. dollars.

The project aims to expedite the growth of the potash fertilizer industry which is expected to reach an annual production capacity of 10 million tons in the Southeast Asian nation, according to the Chinese general manager.

The Asia-Potash International Intelligent Circular Industrial Park is a platform for Laos to seize development opportunities and undertake the transfer of global industrial chains and supply chains amid world economic uncertainties and geopolitical conflicts, Tong said in a speech delivered during the signing ceremony.

For his part, Khamchanh said the Lao government fully supports and will work with the company to promote the construction of the industrial park as a model project to inject more energy into the economic development of Laos.

After the project is put into operation, it is expected to bring 320 million U.S. dollars to Lao's annual fiscal revenue and employ 30,000 to 50,000 local people.