Team Europe would like to see more Lao rice exported to EU countries

On 12 May, two Ambassadors and other Officials from the European Union (EU), Germany, France, Hungary and Italy visited Champahom Trade Import Export Company in Pak Ngum Village, Vientiane.

This company recently exported rice to the EU (Belgium and France), so Team Europe partners wanted to learn more about the opportunities and challenges of rice trading with the European market.

The Team Europe Delegation was headed by EU Ambassador Ina Marciulionyte, German Ambassador Annette Knobloch, Hungarian Chargé d’Affaires Laszlo Takacs, Cooperation Attaché, French Embassy, Marie-Christine Charlieu, Agriculture Environment Attaché, Italian Embassy to Thailand and Laos Roberto Molteni.

Representative of the Department of Agriculture in the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) and other officials also joined the trip.

Ms. Bounheung Phommyxay, CEO of Champahom Trading Import-Export Sole Co. Ltd, was honoured to receive such a high-level delegation. She explained that her company received a loan from the World Bank, and benefited from the Systematic Mechanism for Safer Trade (SYMST) project, financed by the EU and implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC).

Thanks to SYMST, the company was able to register in the system for exporting to the EU market (TRACE system), it attended the Thai Food Expo (ThaiFEX) in 2022, where they met with European buyers, and it also benefited from a training in January 2023 on Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) to address food safety.

As a result, Champahom Company has become one of the first companies in Laos to succeed in exporting rice to the European Union. In 2021, the Company exported 50 tonnes of rice to the European Union market, with Belgium as the first purchase destination. In 2022, the company signed the agreement with Wech Gros Import-Export in France, to sell 1,000 tonnes of glutinous rice each year for an unspecified number of years with the first shipment of rice, amounting to 25 tonnes, sent to France in January 2023.

The Team Europe Partners took the opportunity to confirm their objective to strengthen trade, economic, and investment partnership with Laos, especially focusing on quality investment, which contributes to inclusive growth and jobs. They expressed hope that Champahom Trading Import-Export Sole Co. Ltd would be successful in exporting more rice to Europe, and congratulated Ms Bounheung Phommyxayfor her leadership, as a woman entrepreneur, in showing the way for other companies to export to the EU.

Source: Lao News Agency