15/02/2017 00:01 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Boosting the Special Relationship between Vietnam and Laos

From February 7-8, 2017, the 39th meeting of the Vietnam-Laos Inter-Governmental Committee co-chaired by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Lao counterpart Thongloun Sisoulith took place in Hanoi. The meeting was a chance to reinforce and strengthen the traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation and propose new mechanisms to promote the bilateral cooperation of the two countries in the future. 
This was the first time the Prime Ministers of the two countries had co-chaired an Inter-Governmental Committee meeting, demonstrating the two governments’ commitment to effectively implementing their cooperation plan for 2017. The meeting had the participation of representatives from 30 ministries, agencies and localities of Vietnam and Laos.

At the meeting, the two sides appreciated the outcome of comprehensive cooperation between the two nations. In 2016, Vietnam and Laos effectively implemented high-level agreements and deals between ministries, agencies and localities. Bilateral ties across political, diplomatic, national defence-security, economic and socio-cultural fields have been strengthened and expanded. Education is a highlight in bilateral cooperation, with more than 14,000 Lao students pursuing studies in Vietnam.
 


Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Lao counterpart Thongloun Sisoulith co-chair
the 39th meeting of the Vietnam-Laos Inter-Governmental Committee. Photo: Thong Nhat/VNA


The two leaders with delegates from the two countries. Photo: Thong Nhat/VNA

View of the meeting. Photo: Thong Nhat/VNA

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc delivers a speech at the meeting. Photo: Thong Nhat/VNA

Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith addresses the meeting. Photo: Thong Nhat/VNA

The two leaders witness the signing ceremony of a minutes on the establishment of a joint-venture
to build a 500kV power transmission line connecting the two countries. Photo: Thong Nhat/VNA

The two Prime Ministers attend a press conference after the meeting. Photo: Thong Nhat/VNA

On behalf of the State President, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc presents the Independence Orders,
second and third classes to leaders of Laos. Photo: Thong Nhat/VNA

Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith presents Isala Order, third class
to the Minister of Investment and Planning Nguyen Chi Dung. Photo: Thong Nhat/VNA

Regarding the investment partnership, Vietnamese firms have poured nearly 3.7 billion US dollars into more than 400 projects in Laos. A new mechanism to coordinate bilateral cooperation was introduced at the meeting.

In 2017, both sides agreed to focus on implementing the direction of the politburos, to reinforce political, diplomatic, national defence-security, investment and trade ties while expanding coordination in human resources training, transport infrastructure, and the sustainable use and management of water and natural resources. They were determined to work closely together to hold the Year of Vietnam-Laos Solidarity and Friendship 2017, the 55th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties and the 40th anniversary of the TAC signing. They also pledged to provide mutual support at regional and global organisations and forums.
 


Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong receives Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith. Photo: Tri Dung/VNA


State President Tran Dai Quang receives Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith. Photo: Nhan Sang/VNA 

National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan receives Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith. Photo: Trong Duc/VNA 

After the meeting, the two Prime Ministers witnessed the signing of four cooperation documents, including an agreement on cooperation plan in 2017 between the two governments, the minutes of the Vietnam-Laos Inter-Governmental Committee’s 39th meeting, a collaboration plan between the two education ministries, and the minutes on the establishment of a joint-venture to build a 500kV power transmission line connecting the two countries.



In 2016, the two countries exchanged about 350 delegations, including 130 delegations of deputy-ministerial level or higher. The registered investment of Vietnam’s enterprises in Laos has reached about 5.1 billion US dollars, ranking third among nations investing in Laos. The two way-trade turnover in 2016 was about 801 million US dollars. Vietnam exported to Laos 495 million US dollars while importing 342 million US dollars from the countries. 14,000 Lao students are pursuing studies in Vietnam, including 3.400 under treaties. 


By VNA/VNP
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