President’s visit affirms special attention to fostering ties with Laos

August, 09/2021 - 06:18
President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc will begin an official visit to Laos on Monday at the invitation of Thongloun Sisoulith, General Secretary of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP) Central Committee and President of Laos.

 

President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc meets with Thongloun Sisoulith, General Secretary of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP) Central Committee and President of Laos in Hà Nội in June. — VNA/VN Photo Thống Nhất

 HÀ NỘI — The official visit to Laos by President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc and his wife will reaffirm Việt Nam’s strong and comprehensive support to the process of national reform, defence and construction of Laos.

It will take place on Monday and Tuesday at the invitation of Thongloun Sisoulith, General Secretary of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP) Central Committee and President of Laos.

The visit will highlight Việt Nam’s attention to maintaining and developing the great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive partnership between the two countries.

As neighbours, Việt Nam and Laos have walked hand in hand through many challenges, reinforcing their solidarity and loyalty. The bilateral ties, founded by President Hồ Chí Minh and President Kaysone Phomvihane and nurtured by generations of leaders and people of both nations, have been thriving to be “more stable than mountains, more long-lasting than rivers.”

Relations have become a factor ensuring the success of the revolutionary cause of each country and a valuable asset of both Parties and nations, which must be protected and reinforced and transferred to next generations, Vietnamese Party General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng said while receiving Lao Party General Secretary and President Thongloun Sisoulith on June 28, 2021.

Amid complicated developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, the two countries have managed to maintain visits and communication in different formats.

Defence-security and external relations have continued to be important pillars, with joint efforts ensuring security and maintaining a shared border of peace and friendship as well as searching and repatriating remains of Vietnamese volunteers and experts who died in Laos during the war.

The two sides have effectively implemented the annual consultation mechanisms between Chairpersons of the Party Central Committee’s Commissions for External Relations and Ministers of Foreign Affairs, while regularly exchanging information about regional and international issues of mutual concern, and coordinating together and promoting mutual support at multilateral forums, especially within the ASEAN, the UN and sub-regional mechanisms.

In the context of complicated COVID-19 developments in both countries, the bilateral multifaceted partnership has still developed.

In the 2016-20 period, trade reached US$4.8 billion. In the first six months of 2021, the figure hit $670 million, up 36.5 per cent over the same period last year.

Vietnam now has 209 valid investment projects worth about $5.16 billion in Laos, ranking third among foreign investors in the country.

The Lao Government has agreed to open the Dak Ta-Ok (Xekong)–Nam Giang (Quảng Nam) border gate to promote trade exchanges between the two sides.

Along with expanding export activities, both sides have focused on cooperation in personnel training for transport and construction and energy industry.

They both have concentrated on enhancing partnership in education-training and human resources development. The two Ministries of Education and Training have issued plans of cooperation in the 2021-30 period. This year, Việt Nam will give 1,220 scholarships to Lao officials and students, while Laos will offer 60 scholarships to Việt Nam. More than 16,600 Lao students are already studying in Việt Nam.

Partnerships among localities, especially those along the shared border have been strengthened.

People-to-people exchanges have been increased with various cultural, art and sports activities, contributing to deepening the Vietnam-Laos relationship. — VNS

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