Vietnam-Laos bolster ties
Hanoi ( Vietnam News, ANN ) -- The 39th meeting of the Vietnam–Laos Intergovernmental Committee was held yesterday in Hanoi and reaffirmed the two countries' foreign policy priorities in developing friendship and cooperation.
Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith led a delegation to Vietnam to attend the event, which also aims to increase political trust and direct the implementation of high-level agreements to boost ties.
|Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Tr?ng ( right ) greets Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith in Hanoi on Tuesday.
The meeting, co-chaired by Thongloun Sisoulith and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc, scrutinised the implementation of agreements and promotion of cooperation between the two countries.
Vietnam-Laos relations have been strengthened with regular delegation exchanges and meetings at all levels. Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Tr?ng made an official visit to Laos in November, 2016.
Vietnam supported Laos in undertaking the chairmanship of Asean and holding the Asean Summit last year. The two sides coordinated in ensuring security and defence and fighting transnational crime. Trade and investment links between the two countries also saw progress.
Vietnamese enterprises have registered to invest US$5.1 billion in Laos, ranking third among foreign investors in the country. Two-way trade between the two countries in 2016 hit US$801 million.
Trade promotion activities were intensified through fairs and conferences.
Additionally, the two sides signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in transportation, focusing on completing a study on a proposed Hanoi-Vientiane highway, and accelerating implementation of transport projects within bilateral cooperation and in the Mekong sub-region.
About 100,200 Lao tourists visited Vietnam in the first nine months of 2016, while the number of Vietnamese visitors to Laos reached 760,500 in the period, up 20 percent year-on-year.
Vietnam began construction of two hospitals in Huaphan and Xieng Khuang provinces worth about US$20 million and US$17.6 million, respectively. Education and training cooperation between Vietnam and Laos have been also expanded. More than 14,000 Lao students study in Vietnam.
The two sides are also cooperating on science and technology, natural resources and environment, agriculture, telecommunications, labour, culture, museums and tourism.
Vietnam helped Laos develop agricultural and broadcasting projects in Xieng Khuang and Oudomxay by providing official development assistance. The two nations closely cooperate at regional and international forums and coordinate with other Asean member nations in building the Asean Community.
This year, the two sides will celebrate 40 years since the signing of the Vietnam– Laos Treaty of Amity and Co-operation (July 18, 1997) and the 55th anniversary of the two countries' diplomatic ties.
On Tuesday, the Lao PM called on Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Tr?ng.
Party General Secretary Tr?ng said that Vietnam and Laos should identify concrete measures to ensure quality and progress of Vietnamese projects in Laos, and boost sustainable growth of economic ties.
At a reception that he hosted in Hanoi for visiting Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, the latter reiterated his country's determination to work with Vietnam on bringing socio-economic cooperation on par with the sound political relations that the two countries enjo y.
The Lao PM affirmed that his Government would also work closely with Vietnam in directing ministries, sectors and localities to implement agreements reached by the two countries' senior Party and State leaders as well as those to be signed during the 39th Meeting of the Vietnam-Laos Inter-Governmental Committee that he would co-chair in Hanoi.
He conveyed New Year wishes from Lao Party General Secretary and President Bounnhang Vorachit to the Vietnamese Party chief. He also thanked Vietnam for its long-standing support for Laos.
Party leader Tr?ng lauded the effective cooperation between the two Governments in recent times.
He said that during the 39th Meeting of the Vietnam-Laos Inter-Governmental Committee, the two sides should actively seek co-ordination measures for realising the aims of Vietnam-Laos Joint Statements, bilateral agreements and cooperation programmes and plans.
Tr?ng also suggested that Vietnam and Laos strengthen connectivity in economy, transport infrastructure and energy. Both countries should effect positive and practical changes towards improving the quality of education and training cooperation, he said.
Both leaders expressed their delight at developing special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries, saying it would bolster national construction and defence of each country.
They also pledged to work together to maintain and further promote bilateral ties and educate younger generations on the special relationship between the two nations.
(Latest Update February 9, 2017)