General & Misc

Laos, Vietnam agree to strengthen

Date: 06 January 2019; Type: Industry Updates; Source: Vientiane Times

Laos and Vietnam have agreed to stronger cooperation in a wide range of fields, including human resource development, trade, and investment.

The agreement came after Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith led a high-ranking Lao government delegation and co-chaired the 41st meeting of the Vietnam-Laos Inter-Governmental Committee, which took place in Hanoi from January 5 to 6, at the invitation of Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

According to a press release from Laos’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday, the prime ministers of Laos and Vietnam attended a press conference and witnessed the signing of six important documents.

These included a record of the meeting, an agreement on the 2019 cooperation plan of the two governments, the 2019 cooperation plan between the Ministry of Education and Sports of Laos and the Ministry of Education and Training of Vietnam, and the handover of newly built educational facilities - Chao Anouvong Friendship Secondary School in Xaysomboun province, foreign students’ dormitories at the Dongdok campus of the National University of Laos, Laos-Vietnam Friendship Secondary School Phase 2 (km 5), and Vietnamese language centres at Souphanouvong and Champassak universities.

In addition, agreements were signed on the construction of a radio and television project in Savannakhet province and the provision of a grant for 300 tonnes of rice seeds from the government of Vietnam.

The meeting sought to enhance mutual political trust and create a consistent channel for directing the implementation of high-level agreements to strengthen bilateral ties in the coming years.

It also aimed to build on the traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries.

The two nations agreed to find ways to increase their two-way trade value to meet the set goals, draw up measures to resolve the difficulties experienced by Vietnamese businesses operating in Laos, and ways to deal with businesses that do not comply with the laws of the Lao PDR.

The two sides also agreed to increase cooperation in areas in which the two countries have strong potential and high demand, such as electricity and high-tech agriculture.

During the meeting, the two sides said they highly valued the achievements attained under the cooperation plan for 2018.

This included reciprocal visits by high-level delegations of the two parties and states, and the improvement of cooperation in many aspects of human resource development.

There are now 14,644 Lao nationals studying in Vietnam, of which 4,228 are financed by government scholarships.

Concerning investment, Vietnam has invested US$4.1 billion in 409 projects and ranks third among all foreign countries investing in Laos. In 2018, trade value between the two countries reached US$1 billion, an increase of 13 percent over the same period in 2017.

During their two days in Vietnam, Prime Minister Thongloun and his delegation also paid a courtesy visit to Party General Secretary and President of Vietnam, Nguyen Phu Trong, and Chairperson of the National Assembly of Vietnam, Ms Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.

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