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Lao business operators eye benefits of China******
VIENTIANE, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- Lao entrepreneurs are confident they will benefit from the China-Laos Railway.
The railway will drastically cut the cost of transport through Laos compared to travel by road, thus giving a boost to trade and investment as well as attracting more visitors, local daily Vientiane Times on Friday quoted Lao businessman, Daovone Phachanthavong, who is also the vice executive president of the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LNCCI), as saying.
When the railway comes into service, the cost of goods sold in Laos will be lower because it will be easier to import goods from China, Daovone told Vientiane Times when interviewed on Tuesday.
This will boost the income of Lao farmers because Chinese companies will invest more in agriculture in Laos, while more revenue will be earned from the increasing number of visitors to Laos, Daovone said.
China remains Laos' largest export market and is also the largest foreign investor in Laos.
Each year, Laos earns hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars from the export of copper ore, copper and copper products, as well as agricultural products including bananas, beans, sweet potato, rubber, cassava, sweetcorn, fruit (watermelon, passion fruit and tamarind) and processed wood to China.
Daovone believes that when the railway is operational, more Chinese companies will be interested in investing in these sectors in partnership with Lao businesses.
Other sectors will also benefit, especially tourism, with hotels, restaurants, guesthouses and vehicle rental businesses expected to earn more, while more revenue will be generated in the communication, education and health sectors, he added.
More foreign currency will flow into Laos, which will improve foreign exchange rates, lower inflation, and strengthen the economy, he said.
"From a personal perspective and as a business operator, I am confident that the government will roll out effective measures to bring the COVID-19 outbreak under control when the railway comes into service, so as to accelerate the recovery from the impacts of the pandemic," Daovone said.
He recommended that the government should do all it could to enable businesses to resume normal operations so they could bolster the incomes of local people as well as engage in more trading and investment for development purposes.
He also advised business operators to take this opportunity to work together to develop and improve their businesses in line with the circumstances imposed by the new normal.
The China-Laos Railway is a symbol of friendship between the two countries and will bring happiness and prosperity to the peoples of both countries, he said.
The China-Laos Railway is a docking project between the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and Laos' strategy to convert itself from a landlocked country to a land-linked hub.
The electrified passenger and cargo railway is built with the full application of Chinese management and technical standards. The construction of the project started in December 2016 and is scheduled to be completed and operational in December 2021. Enditem
Yanqing's competition venues for Beijing 2022 fully covered with 5G******
BEIJING, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- With less than 50 days away before the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, full coverage of 5G signals has been in place at the National Sliding Center and the National Alpine Skiing Center.。
The two venues, located in the Yanqing competition zone, are set to host the alpine skiing, bobsleigh, skeleton and luge competitions during the Games.。
According to China Unicom, a leading telecom firm in China and the official telecommunication services partner for the Games, more than 30 5G base stations have been set up at the venues to ensure real-time weather forecast, timing and scoring, as well as media coverage.。
Yang Peng, deputy general manager of the network department of China Unicom Beijing, said that weather conditions play a pivotal role in alpine skiing, making 5G-backed real-time weather data collection for a forecast one of the top priorities for the event.。
"The 5G coverage enables real-time transmission of initial velocity, instantaneous speed and other data of athletes for timing and scoring," said Zhang Jia, director of Winter Olympics Office of China Unicom Beijing.。
Remote medical care can also be empowered by 5G during the Games in case of any injury, Zhang added.。
The 2022 Winter Olympics will open on February 4. Enditem。
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Top German leaders seek emergency virus plan******
Chancellor Angela Merkel and her designated successor Olaf Scholz were meeting German regional leaders yesterday to finalize new measures to tackle surging COVID-19 cases, with compulsory jabs among the options on the table.。
Infections have smashed records in Germany in recent weeks and hospitals are sounding the alarm, with many already over capacity and sending patients to other parts of the country for treatment.。
Though the seven-day incidence rate has fallen slightly this week, it still stood at 442.9 new infections per 100,000 people on Wednesday, with 67,186 new cases in the past 24 hours.。
Merkel, Scholz and the leaders of Germany's 16 states tightened COVID curbs just two weeks ago, but came together again on Tuesday to discuss tougher measures and are now expected to fine tune the plans.。
After Tuesday's meeting, Scholz said he was in favor of compulsory vaccination for all Germans and wants parliament to vote on the matter before the end of the year. "Too many people have not got vaccinated," he told Bild television. Making jabs compulsory is justified "to protect us all," he said.。
Many experts have blamed Germany's surging fourth wave on its relatively low vaccination rate of around 68 percent, compared to fellow European Union countries such as Spain on 79 percent and Portugal on 86 percent.。
Compulsory jabs should be in force "in the beginning of February or March so we must move quickly now," Scholz said.。
Merkel's outgoing government had always ruled out mandatory vaccination, but the measure is now backed by politicians from across the spectrum.。
Merkel's spokeswoman stopped short of endorsing the measure but said Germany was "in a dramatic situation in the pandemic where new possibilities have to be thought about."