Vietnam, Laos look towards stronger comprehensive cooperation

Hanoi (VNA) � Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith will attend and co-chair the 41st meeting of the Vietnam-Laos Inter-Governmental Committee on January 5-6 in Hanoi at the invitation of Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

Thongloun Sisoulith’s attendance continues to reaffirm the two countries’ priorities in foreign affairs that are constantly developing the bilateral traditional friendship, special solidarity, and comprehensive cooperation, reinforcing political trust, and creating a single channel to direct the implementation of high-level agreements in the future.

Over the past few years, Vietnam and Laos have coordinated to organise a number of activities to strengthen the bilateral relations such as celebrating the Vietnam-Laos friendship and solidarity year 2017, the 55th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties (1962-2017), and the 40th anniversary of signing the Vietnam-Laos treaty on cooperation and amity (1977-2017).

The two sides also have worked together to implement effectively cooperation agreements on security and defence as well as strengthened locality-to-locality collaboration, especially in the shared border areas, in building infrastructure, providing health care, developing human resources, and ensuring order and security in border areas.

In 2017, Vietnam and Laos completed a project on increasing and upgrading border markers along their boundary in addition to signing a protocol on the Vietnam-Laos borderline and national border markers, and an agreement on management regulations of Vietnam-Laos border and border gates.

The two nations continued to promote the implementation of an agreement between the two governments on dealing with undocumented migration and marriages along the shared border.

They also worked together to seek and gather thousands sets of remains of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers and experts who laid down their lives during wartime in Laos.

The 40th meeting of the inter-governmental committee in early 2018 under the chair of the two PMs significantly contributed to nurturing the traditional friendship and special solidarity between the two nations as well as their comprehensive cooperation.

As of October 2018, Vietnam remained one of the three biggest investors of Laos with the registration of 409 projects worth 4.1 billion USD.

In 2017, Vietnam and Laos signed a new trade agreement and a border trade deal.

Two-way trade reached 936.8 million USD in 2017 and 830.5 million USD in January-October 2018, up 15.2 percent against the same period last year.

Besides, the two sides also pushed ahead cooperation in other fields such as transport, education-training, culture-tourism, and health care.

Apart from supporting each other at regional and international forums such as the United Nations (UN), the Non-Aligned Movement, and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), Vietnam and Laos also strengthened coordination with other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to build the ASEAN Community and maintain the bloc’s solidarity and consensus in regional strategic issues.-VNA

Source: Vietnam News Agency

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