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Inter-gov’l committee’s meeting creates new momentum for Vietnam-Laos ties

The 41st session of the Vietnam-Laos inter-governmental committee, which took place in Hanoi on January 6, would create a new momentum for bilateral cooperation, according to the Prime Ministers of Vietnam and Laos who co-chaired the session.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Lao counterpart Thongloun Sisoulith also co-chaired a press conference to publicise the outcomes of the session.

During his stay in Hanoi on January 5 and 6, the Lao PM met with Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong and National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.

During all the meetings, the two sides reached a high consensus on orientations of bilateral cooperation in 2019 with a focus on the key pillars of politics, external affairs, defence, and security.

They concurred to increase experience sharing in building policies on stabilizing the macro economy and promoting sustainable development, and enhancing connectivity and supplementation between the two economies, especially in transport and energy.

Besides, the two nations will coordinate to improve business and investment environment, and transport infrastructure connectivity, while creating more favourable conditions for businesses and striving to expand two-way trade by at least 10 percent this year.

Vietnam and Laos will also continue to promote cooperation in education-training and human resources development.

The two countries’ localities will push ahead with partnerships in the fields of culture, science, social affairs, information and communications, sports, health care, and internal and judicial matters.

The two sides agreed to strengthen coordination and mutual support at regional and international forums and join hands to further deepen the cooperation and connectivity of the ASEAN Community as well as promote the bloc’s solidarity, central role, and common voice in regional strategic issues, including the East Sea matter.

They were unanimous in making effective and sustainable use of water resources in the Mekong River.

After the committee’s meeting, the two PMs witnessed the signing of six cooperation agreements, including an agreement on cooperation plan between Vietnamese and Lao governments in 2019; the minutes of the 41st meeting of the Vietnam-Laos inter-governmental committee; and an agreement on Vietnam’s provision of 300 tonnes of rice seeds for Laos.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training and Laos’ Ministry of Education and Sports inked an agreement on education cooperation plan in 2019.

The two countries also inked a minutes to transfer the radio broadcasting project to Laos’ Savanakhet province; and another to transfer the Vietnamese-language department project at Lao universities of Suphanouvong and Champasak, the Lao National University’s dormitory for international students, and the second-phase of the Laos-Vietnam Friendship High School.