Lao, Singaporean foreign ministers hold talks on bilateral ties
Lao and Singaporean foreign ministers continue to grow highly valued relations and cooperation between the two Asean member countries, agreeing that bilateral ties and cooperation between the two countries should continue to be enhanced.
The agreement was made as visiting Lao Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith held talks with his Singaporean counterpart, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore yesterday, the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release.
Mr Saleumxay was on a two-day official visit to Singapore in response to an invitation from Dr Vivian.
The growing bilateral ties have been reflected by the fact that leaders of the two countries have maintained regular visits with each other. Singaporean President Tony Tan Keng Yam had recently visited Laos in January.
During yesterday's talks, the Lao side expressed heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the government and people of Singapore for their assistance and support extended to Laos including the assistance in human resource development during Laos' hosting of the 28th and 29th Asean Summits last year.
The Singaporean side thanked Laos for its warm hospitality extended to Singaporean leaders during their visit to the country on various occasions as well as Laos' support for Singapore's application for membership in various United Nations agencies.
The two ministers also exchanged their views on ways to promote more Singaporean investors to do businesses in Laos in the years to come. They also touched upon regional and international issues of common interest.
As of 2016, Singaporean investors have invested US$187 million in 79 projects in Laos, making Singapore the 11th largest foreign investor in Laos.
Two-way trade between the countries reached US$ 30 million in 2016, more than doubling from just US$13 million recorded in 2015. In 2016, more than 6,000 Singaporean tourists also visited Laos.
Singapore's SilkAir has resumed its Singapore-Vientiane-Luang Prabang flight, which flies three times a week providing a convenient travel route to help boost investment and tourism cooperation.
SilkAir and Lao Airlines have signed an agreement on joint air route cooperation.
Laos and Singapore have also signed an agreement on the avoidance of duplicated tax collection and the prevention of tax avoidance, which has already been enforced.
The government of Singapore has also provided both long term educational scholarships and shorter-term training for Lao students and officials to undertake studies and trainings in Singapore.
In addition, more than 1,500 young Singaporean volunteers have been sent to help schools and communities in Laos.
By Times Reporters
(Latest Update February 14, 2017)