|Delegates at the Việt Nam-Laos Trade and Investment Forum in HCM City on December 13. — VNS Photo|
HCM CITY — Việt Nam and Laos need to further enhance co-operation to capitalise on each other’s strengths and enable their investment and trade ties to be commensurate with their relations, a bilateral trade forum heard in HCM City on Tuesday.
Nguyễn Văn Nên, Party Secretary of HCM City, said Laos was currently the biggest investment market for Việt Nam, with 238 projects worth US$5.34 billion, with HCM City investors accounting for $496 million.
Việt Nam's investments are all over Laos and in a variety of sectors such as finance and banking, telecom, services, agriculture, and forestry, according to Nên.
Many of them have done well, and greatly contributed to local socio-economic development.
Co-operation between HCM City and various Lao localities has also achieved positive results. The city has relations with the capital Vientiane, Champasak and Savannakhet provinces, and many co-operative activities with Xiengkhouang in agriculture, culture, trade, healthcare, and education.
Trần Phước Anh, director of the city Department of Foreign Affairs, said Lao investment in HCM City was worth $1.74 million as of October, and trade between the two sides was worth $16.7 million in the first nine months of the year.
Investment and trade ties did not match the potential, he said.
Nên said the forum would “create opportunities for businesses in the two countries to connect … to further promote trade and investment.”
Lao Deputy Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone told the forum that, after a difficult period due to COVID, his country was trying its best to help businesses and people adapt to the new situation, and also focusing on taking advantage of its strengths and mobilising investments from all economic sectors both at home and abroad.
His government was also trying to improve transport infrastructure to provide better connectivity with countries in the region, including Việt Nam, promote the development of tourism and services and attract more foreign investment.
Laos also had policies to attract investors in the fields of clean agriculture, processing, tourism, especially cultural tourism, and renewable energy, he said.
It had made efforts to promote innovation to adapt to the fourth industrial revolution, he said.
“The forum is a good opportunity for the Lao Government and enterprises to listen to and acknowledge the opinions of Vietnamese enterprises investing in and intending to invest in Laos in the near future.
“We look forward to welcoming many Vietnamese businesses … to make the investment and trade ties between the two countries commensurate with our relationship."
At the forum, the two countries exchanged and discussed solutions to promote trade, investment and tourism while Vietnamese companies and Lao localities and businesses signed 17 MoUs for investment and other economic exchanges.
The forum was organised by the Investment and Promotion Centre of HCM City and the Lao consulate in the city. — VNS