Vietnam’s new president chooses to visit Laos first

The General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Nguyen Phu Trong, has visited Laos many times but this is his first goodwill visit to Laos since being appointed President.
Now, he is both the General Secretary of the Communist Party and the President of Vietnam.
He was chosen by Vietnam’s National Assembly to be the new leader of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
Speaking to Lao media, Vietnamese Ambassador to Laos Nguyen Ba Hung said President Nguyen Phu Trong had chosen to visit Laos before larger countries such as China, the USA, Russia and Japan.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Laos Nguyen Ba Hung gives an interview on Laos-Vietnam relations.        --Photo Khamphan

During his goodwill visit to Laos on February 24 and 25, Laos and Vietnam will sign many important agreements to further strengthen their close relationship.
“There is no relationship in the world that can compare with the friendship between Laos and Vietnam,” the Ambassador said, speaking through an interpreter. As testament to this, he pointed out that there are at least 200 songs referring to the two countries’ unity and friendship. 
President Nguyen Phu Trong is visiting Laos at the invitation of his Lao counterpart, President Bounnhang Vorachit.
The Ambassador said that Lao and Vietnamese ties are so strong that only one such relationship exists anywhere in the world, and the two countries enjoy a great friendship.
This special relationship and cooperation is reflected in all aspects of the dealings between the two countries. This confirms that this close relationship is unique in the world.
Cooperation in all fields between Laos and Vietnam has its roots in the two countries’ shared revolutionary movement.
This is a valuable asset that developed from the blood of officials and soldiers when they joined ranks under the guidance of Vietnamese President Ho Chi Minh and Lao Presidents Kaysone Phomvihane and Souphanouvong.
Laos and Vietnam have built on their shared successes over the past decades. It can be said that today, I, as a diplomat for many years have helped to establish ties with other countries in the world, the Ambassador added.
I believe that in the future, under the guidance of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party and the Communist Party of Vietnam, with support from Party members, officials, people and the new generations of both countries, we will continuously develop to achieve sustainability forever.
I often recall the comments made by President Kaysone Phomvihane, who said the younger generation are “eagles of the new era”, who will                                                                               fly high and far and lead the country to development.
Today, the new generations of Vietnam and Laos fully appreciate and have a deep understanding about this special relationship and the future of their countries.
In addition, the leaders of both countries set worthy examples of the special relationship between Vietnam and Laos for the younger generation.
In the past, I was very pleased to see that the younger generation understood our relationship correctly and clearly. I often think of the words of Uncle Ho, who said it was “stable and strong at all times”.
Laos and Vietnam established diplomatic relations on September 5, 1962, and signed the Friendship and Cooperation Treaty on July 18, 1977, which cemented their special relationship.
In 2017, the two nations celebrated the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Laos-Vietnam Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation, when their top leaders attended celebrations to mark the anniversary.
Economic cooperation between Laos and Vietnam has grown in recent years as the two nations supported bilateral investment and trade.  In 2018, Vietnam was among Laos’ top three trading partners.
In 2018, the value of trade between Laos and Vietnam climbed to US$1 billion, while accumulated investment by Vietnam in Laos reached about US$4.1 billion.
There are some 409 Vietnamese investment projects in Laos, with most in hydropower, mining, transport, industrial tree plantations, and services.

By Khonesavanh Latsaphao
(Latest Update February 22, 2019)

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