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27. May 2006

LAOS: China and Vietnam see growth in Laos

Source: Daily "The Nation", Bangkok; 27 May 2006

China and Vietnam are expanding their rubber
plantations in Laos to capitalise on rising prices in
their domestic markets and for export.

The expanded cultivation is in three provinces - Luang
Nam Tha in the North and Champasak and Saravan in the
South. While a figure for the northern area is not
available, total plantation areas in Champasak and
Saravan are thought to have reached 62,500 rai.

Vicha Thitiprasert, director of the Thai Agricultural
Regulatory Office, said 26 May that the expansion in
Laos would encourage Thai growers to export more
seedlings to Laos.

He said exporters should focus on quality to maintain
the country's image as an exporter of high quality
trees. He also noted that exporters had to register
with and apply for export licences with the Thai
Agriculture Ministry. The penalties for exporting
illegally are fines of up to Bt20,000 per shipment,
one year in prison or both.

(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)

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