Feature: "I feel great with PowerChina" - Lao staff shares 10-year experience in Chinese company
For the past 10 years, Noutsady Phetouthone has been working with Power Construction Corporation of China (PowerChina) and grown into an experienced and reliable staff of the Chinese state-run enterprise's Lao branch company, while her Chinese colleagues kindly call her "Nuo" (meaning "promise" in Chinese language).
Noutsady, born in 1986 in central Laos' hilly Hin Heup District to the north of capital Vientiane, went to Vientiane alone at the age of 21 to look for a job and go on with her study.
In 2009, with sound knowledge of accounting and favorable English communication skills, she stood out from many applicants and became an employee of PowerChina's Lao Cement Industry Co., Ltd.
Noutsady showed her talent and capability soon in the accounting position, completing nearly 200 payments for more than 50 downstream transporters every month, timely and accurately.
Working and spending time together has brought Noutsady and her Chinese colleagues closer.
"I feel great with PowerChina, and I will try to achieve the same like PowerChina to 'keep promises and make promises valuable' and start a new life here," Noutsady told reporters in Chinese.
PowerChina has entered the Lao market for more than 20 years. Since 1996, the corporation has participated in the construction of infrastructure such as hydropower plants in Laos. In 2007, the company put a cement production line with a capacity of 1 million tons into commercial operation, which was the largest cement production line in Laos at that time.
When talking about the "Lion Brand" cement products of the company, Noutsady is full of pride.
"We are one of the earliest cement manufacturers in Laos," she said, "from the many hydropower plants around the country to the broad 450th Anniversary Avenue in the capital and the magnificent Lao National Convention Center, even many house buildings in my hometown, the 'Lion Brand' cement is used," she said.
In 2017, PowerChina Lao Cement Industry Co., Ltd became the supplier of the China-Laos railway, a major project under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.
Witnessing trucks of cement being shipped to the construction sites of the China-Laos railway, Noutsady said she seems to see Laos being converted from the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia to a well-connected land-linked hub in Indochina Peninsula.
She worked more vigorously since then. Every day, she was busy checking accounts with more than a dozen sites, reviewing China-Laos railway cement supply invoices, and applying for relevant preferential policies with the Lao taxation authority, to make cement supply smoother and faster.
In the last decade, the Lao lady has not only seen the development of the cement company, but also established her own small family. Now, Noutsady lives with her daughter in a cosy apartment provided by the company.
At the end of 2019, Noutsady was also honored as an outstanding foreign employee of PowerChina.
At the risky times of the COVID-19 pandemic in Laos, Noutsady and other 230 Lao staff, together with 60 Chinese colleagues worked together for the normal operation of the company.
Noutsady said that during the pandemic, "Chinese colleagues brought me and my daughter meals every day, which I will never forget. Now, the haze of the epidemic in Laos is gradually dissipating, and another new decade has begun. I will cherish it even more, loving my daughter, loving my life, and loving my PowerChina."