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Laos to take center stage at expo

By CAO YINGYING (China Daily)

Updated: 2021-09-08

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A pharmacopoeia on Lao herbal medicine compiled by the Guangxi Botanical Garden of Medicinal Plants is delivered to the Ministry of Health of Laos. CHINA DAILY

The upcoming 18th China-ASEAN Expo is expected to strengthen communication between China and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, as well as showcase their exchanges in scientific and technological innovation and healthcare in the era of COVID-19.

The annual expo will be held in Nanning, capital of the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, from Sept 10-13. Laos, the only landlocked state among ASEAN, will be the guest country of honor at the expo.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of dialogue between China and ASEAN and the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Laos.

The expo has played an important role in providing a platform for China and Laos to deepen their cooperation over the years.

According to the expo organizers, Laos has set up 1,682 booths and 727 of its companies have participated in the expo over the past 17 years, showcasing products from wooden furniture, rice and coffee to local handicrafts and other commodities.

Through the China-ASEAN Expo, China and Laos have cooperated on hydropower station investment, cyberspace and entertainment projects.

Laos set up promotional events both online and offline in June. The events focused on the business opportunities of the China-Laos railway and investment between Chinese companies and Laos in agriculture, forestry, tourism, and upstream and downstream industrial chains.

As an important cooperation platform, the China-ASEAN Technology Transfer Center has made great efforts to promote cooperation. The center, built by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Guangxi government, was put into operation in 2014.

Through the center, China and ASEAN countries have established a mechanism to match scientific and technological needs.

According to the head of the center, it helped to connect the Guangxi Botanical Garden of Medicinal Plants and the Traditional Medicine Research Center in Laos. The two sides built a China-Laos traditional medicine joint laboratory and set up a demonstration area for traditional medicine.

Cooperation has been carried out in the information sharing of traditional medicine policies, systematic education, research skill training, scientific research on medicine theory and the promotion of pharmaceutical culture.

Guangxi also helped to compile the Lao Herbal Pharmacopoeia in 2019.

According to Miao Jianhua, director of the Guangxi Botanical Garden of Medicinal Plants, the pharmacopoeia was compiled based on Laos' common traditional pharmaceutical resources and the 2010 version of the Chinese Pharmacopoeia. The book records 160 kinds of medicinal materials and 40 prescriptions. Nearly 100 experts from China and Laos spent two years compiling it.

Laos Deputy Minister of Health Khamphone Phouthavong said that the book is just a start. He hopes China and Laos can work together to promote the development of traditional medicine in Laos and use it to improve the medical level of the locals.