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Railway Begins to Serve Laotian Banana Exports to China

December 14, 2022

A dedicated train service for the export of Laotian bananas to China has been launched on the newly constructed China–Laos railway, with the inaugural train departing from the Laotian capital of Vientiane on Dec. 7 and laden with 500 metric tons of fresh bananas. With the opening of the new railway, rail freight is expected to become a major means of transporting China-bound bananas from Laos.

The launch ceremony for the new dedicated banana service was attended by officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Laos alongside representatives from the Laos-China Railway Company, Xuanye (Laos) Company, the China Railway Container Transport Corporation, the Huaihua International Port Development Company, Hongxing Industrial Group and Shenzhen Pagoda Orchard Industrial Development Company. It was held at the Vientiane South train station.

Zhang Bingzhi, general manager of Hunan Hongxing Yishu Agricultural Technology Company, a major Chinese banana importer and ripener, told Produce Report that the inaugural banana train was scheduled to pull into Hunan province’s capital city Changsha on Dec. 11. These bananas, which underwent pre-departure sterilization at packing plants in Laos by staff from the China Certification and Inspection Group, will undergo import inspection and quarantine procedures at Mohan Railway Port in China’s Yunnan province before finally reaching the Hongxing Global Agri-Wholesale fruit trading center in the city of Changsha.

According to Zhang, Laotian fruits were shipped to China by truck in the past. This mode of transportation constantly suffered from traffic congestion and unpredictable shipping times. The train service features high speed, punctuality and better cold-chain logistics capability. The opening of the China–Laos railway is expected to not only drive fruit cultivation in Laos but also stimulate neighboring countries such as Vietnam and Myanmar to further improve the quality of fruits they export to China. Zhang revealed that his company has decided to use the railway line as a main way to import premium fruits from Laos and other countries nearby.

Prior to the special banana train, the first fresh fruit shipment employing the China–Laos railway set out from Vientiane on Nov. 30 and arrived at Mohan Railway Port on Dec. 3. That shipment was comprised of 25 train carriages loaded with 351 metric tons of Laotian bananas, 154 metric tons of Thai longans and 35 metric tons of Thai durians.

On Aug. 26, the Hunan provincial government signed with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Laos a memorandum of understanding in which the Hunan provincial government will import 1 million metric tons of agricultural products from Laos each year. According to the agreement, Hunan Xuanye Ecological Agriculture Development Company, the Hunan Agricultural Development Investment Group Company and Hongxing Industrial Group are among the companies responsible for sourcing and importing Laotian agricultural products into China.

It is reported that the China-Laos Railway will serve at least two China-bound dedicated trains each week, which will carry high-quality Laotian agricultural products to Hunan.

Images: Hongxing Industrial Group

This article was translated from Chinese. Read the original article.

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