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Exporting Electricity to Southeast Asia
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The Regional Power Trade Operating Agreement for the Greater Mekong Sub-Region (GMS) will be signed at the group's second summit meeting in July, China Business reported on February 20.

The agreement is expected to clear all obstacles for the countries involved to build on hydroelectric development cooperation.

In 1992, with assistance from the Asian Development Bank, China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam entered into the GMS program of economic cooperation.

According to China Southern Power Grid Co. Ltd, since September, when China started exporting electricity to Vietnam for the first time, volume has exceeded 50 million kilowatt-hours (kWh).

A power transmission grid between China and Southeast Asian countries is being formed, which experts describe as the "fourth economic way" between China and its neighbors - in addition to waterways, railways and air routes.

Zhao Jinping, deputy director of the Research Department of Foreign Economic Relations of the State Council Development and Research Center, said the government has reached an agreement with Thailand to build two power stations on the Lancang River (the Chinese name for the Mekong) in Yunnan Province.

Their total capacity is expected to reach 7.35 million kWh and, on their completion, China will export more electricity to Thailand to meet demand there.

Zhao said that the export of electricity has a bright future. Whilst developing power projects with neighboring countries, energy and communications infrastructures will also be improved, which will be advantageous to wider economic and trade cooperation.

(China.org.cn translated by Li Jingrong, February 26, 2005)

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