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Laos-Vietnam trade surged 24 percent in 2022

Bilateral trade between Laos and Vietnam reached US$1.7 billion in 2022, an increase of 24 percent over the previous year, Vietnamese media VnExpress reported.
The growth of trade was beyond the expectations of the two countries, and has been attributed to trade promotion activities jointly organised by relevant agencies during the year.
In 2022, Laos imported goods worth US$ 656 million from Vietnam, an increase of over 10 percent over the previous year. The imported goods comprised mainly oil and gas, fertilisers, steel, machinery, accessories and vehicles, according to the Vietnamese media.

Trucks carry goods between Laos and Vietnam.                                  --Photo Vientiane Times

Meanwhile, Laos’ exports to Vietnam were valued at more than US$1 billion, a year-on-year rise of 35 percent. The main exports were wood and wood products, fertilisers, rubber and corn.
Additionally, income from two-way trade between the countries reached US$ 211 million in December alone, an increase of 60 percent over the same period in 2021.
The governments of Laos and Vietnam are keen to increase the value of bilateral trade to US$2 billion in the near future by maximising the potential offered by the two countries.
The governments of the two countries have agreed to strengthen economic and commerce cooperation, with trade promotion activities designed to increase two-way trade by 10 percent to 15 percent this year, compared to the figures of 2022.
Last month, Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh made an official visit to Laos and co-chaired the 45th meeting of the Laos-Vietnam Intergovernmental Committee in response to an invitation from Prime Minister Dr Sonexay Siphandone.
This was the first official visit to Laos by Mr Chinh and his first overseas trip this year. Mr Chinh was also the first foreign leader to visit Laos since Dr Sonexay took office late last year. Mr Chinh was quoted by VietnamPlus as saying that despite the huge potential offered, Laos-Vietnam economic cooperation has yet to match the level of the special relations between the two countries.
The Vietnamese premier said the two countries also need to provide more mutual assistance for building independent and self-reliant economies that actively, extensively and effectively integrate with the rest of the world. Vietnam is the third largest foreign investor in Laos after China and Thailand, with Vietnamese companies involved in 238 operational projects with a total pledged capital of US$5.34 billion.
In 2021, Vietnamese firms invested US$118.3 million in Laos, up 33.3 percent year-on-year, while the value of two-way trade surged to US$1.49 billion in 2022, an increase of 23 percent year-on-year. The two countries agreed to invest in transport infrastructure projects, particularly roads, railway and expressway, to connect the two countries as a means to boost bilateral trade.

By Somsack Pongkhao
 (Latest Update February 10, 2023)


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