Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc held talks with his Lao counterpart, Thongloun Sisoulith, in Hà Nội yesterday, following a welcome ceremony.
PM Phúc said the Lao government head’s choosing Việt Nam as the first country to visit after taking office reflects the importance Laos attaches to the friendship and cooperation with Việt Nam. The visit creates a new driving force for bilateral ties, according to PM Phúc. He said he believes the fraternal Lao people will successfully realise the resolution adopted by the 10th National Party Congress and the 2016-20 socioeconomic development plan.
Both sides expressed satisfaction at the development of the special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries. This cooperation includes the realisation of many goals set by the Vietnam-Laos strategy on economic, cultural, scientific, and technological cooperation for 2011-20. Their mutual governmental cooperation treaty for 2011-2015 was also a success, helping deepen and expand bilateral ties.
The two sides affirmed the resolve of the two Parties, States and peoples to continue fostering the loyal and special solidarity between Việt Nam and Laos. This relationship is an invaluable asset of the two nations which need to be passed on to later generations.
Both sides stated they will work together to implement agreements sealed by high-ranking leaders of the two countries, regarding politics, diplomacy, defence, security, trade, and investment.
The two PMs pledged to direct ministries, agencies, and local authorities to carry out the cooperation plan between the two governments for 2016, as well as the Vietnam-Laos cooperation pact for 2016-20.
The intergovernmental committee on bilateral collaboration should be further strengthened to operate more effectively, they said.
The two PMs agreed to coordinate for the effective implementation of agreements signed between the two countries last year, including a trade agreement, a border trade pact, and a memorandum of understanding on transport cooperation for 2016-25.
They agreed to facilitate operations of Vietnamese firms investing in Laos. They also agreed to expand the ’one stop, one check’ model at border gates, while striving to raise bilateral trade revenue by 20 per cent in 2016, compared to 2015.
The two sides will implement the protocol on defence and security cooperation for 2016-20. Both countries will focus on developing a peaceful borderline to serve as an example in the region.
They also agreed to boost engagement in human resource training and cultural exchange. And they agreed to jointly organise activities to mark the 55th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations in 2017.
Both sides were pleased with their mutual support at regional and international forums. Examples of this successful cooperation include the cooperation mechanisms of Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam (CLV) and Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam-Myanmar (CLMV), the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS), the Asia-Europe Meeting, and the United Nations.
Laos supports Việt Nam in hosting the ACMECS 7th and CLMV 8th Summits in October, PM Sisoulith said.
PM Phúc acknowledged Laos as the current Chair of ASEAN, affirming that Việt Nam will continue to support Laos as the ASEAN Chair in 2016.
He asked Laos to continue coordinating ASEAN solidarity and ASEAN’s collective stance on the East Sea issue. This will contribute to maintaining peace, stability, security, and safety of navigation and aviation. It will also contribute to fully and effectively observing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and to agreement on a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) soon.
The Vietnamese government leader thanked Laos for increasing water discharge from hydropower dams on the Mekong River. The Vietnamese PM also thanked Laos for supporting Việt Nam in overcoming consequences of the prolonged drought and saline intrusion in the country’s southern areas.
The two sides agreed to continue coordinating with related countries and international organisations to manage and use Mekong River water in a sustainable and effective manner.
PM Sisoulith invited his Vietnamese counterpart to pay an official visit to Laos. PM Phúc accepted the invitation. The visit will be arranged through the diplomatic channel.
Following their talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of cooperation agreements for 2016 between the two countries’ ministries and localities. The agreements cover investments, agriculture and education.
Vietinbank also presented aid worth US$200,000 for the Lao government to promote welfare activity.
President’s reception for Lao PM
President Trần Đại Quang also held a reception for the Lao PM and his entourage yesterday. The President said the Lao leader selecting Việt Nam for his first official visit after taking office demonstrates the deep and faithful bond of the two countries.
The President said Việt Nam gives its whole-hearted support for the reform and national construction and defense of Laos.
PM Sisoulith conveyed to President Quang the Lao Party General Secretary and President Bounnhang Vorachith’s invitation to visit Laos. President Quang accepted the invitation.
President Quang recommended the two governments continue enhancing the quality of comprehensive cooperation in all fields and strive for a 20-per cent increase of two-way trade value. This will help to effectively implement agreements from annual summits and will create conditions for Lao and Vietnamese enterprises to expand their operations and investments.
Việt Nam and Laos will celebrate their 55th year of diplomatic ties - and the 40th anniversary of signing their Friendship and Cooperation Treaty - in 2017. So both sides agree that the two countries need to intensify public communications campaigns about the traditional Vietnamese-Lao relationship, as well as to coordinate and organise celebrations of the anniversaries.