By: Khonesavanh Latsaphao, Vientiane Times, September 20, 2016
Despite being priced at US$180 a box, there are many people willing to buy Gold Champa Red or Gold Champa Black tea as they are keen to sample this latest offering from Laos' tea producers.
Secretary of the Lao Gold Champa Tea Sole Company, Ms Alivanh Vilayseng, told Vientiane Times on Monday that the red and black teas went on sale at the China-Asean Expo (CAEXPO) held from September 11-14 in Nanning, Quangxi, China. The company produces the tea in Vientiane and made it as a special gift for the heads of state and government visiting Laos for the 28th and 29th Asean summits and related meetings held earlier this month.
"We can't say exactly how much of this tea we sold at the CAEXPO, but it was quite popular with tea drinkers there," Ms Alivanh said. The two teas are also attracting interest in Vientiane, especially among Chinese traders at the San Jiang Market. While she was browsing Laos' exhibition booths at the CAEXPO, company representative Ms Li Jiao told Vientiane Times that the tea was expensive because the production process was quite sophisticated and the tea was of high quality.
There are three tea processing plants in Bokeo, Xayaboury and Xieng Khuang provinces. Gold Champa tea is supposedly good for your health as it is grown in fertile soil and no chemicals are used during cultivation.
This year's CAEXPO was hugely popular with exhibitors, with seven Asean member countries chartering exhibition halls for their commodity pavilions, namely Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
Exhibitors from 31 countries outside the China-Asean region applied for participation of which 65 enterprises from 18 countries were approved, including Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, the United Arab Emirates and other countries along the Belt and Road routes.
This year the number of booths from Laos increased from 80 to 163, featuring food and beverages, tea, handicrafts, textiles and herbal medicines.
The Nanning International Convention and Exhibition Centre provided additional exhibition space of 30,000 square meters, equivalent to 1,200 booths, while the total number of booths increased to 5,800, used by 2,669 exhibiting companies.