Vietnamese Ambassador to Laos Nguyễn Bá Hùng in an interview with Vietnam News Agency. — VNA/VNS Photo
VIENTIANE — Việt-Laos ties will continue to thrive in a healthy, effective and sustainable manner thanks to the firm foundation of bilateral cooperation, Vietnamese Ambassador to Laos Nguyễn Bá Hùng has said.
Speaking to Vietnam News Agency's (VNA) resident correspondents in Laos for the 60th founding anniversary of Việt Nam-Laos diplomatic relations (1962-2022) and the 45th anniversary of the signing of the bilateral Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (1977-2022), Hùng highlighted major achievements in the bilateral relations over the past six decades.
He said the treaty signing 45 years ago lifted the Việt Nam-Laos partnership to a new height with outstanding outcomes throughout history.
The ambassador held that the most important outcome of the ties was the development of the special solidarity and the combat alliance between the two countries, which helped the revolution in both countries overcome many difficulties and challenges to regain national independence and freedom.
Along with successfully forming comprehensive cooperation mechanisms, Việt Nam and Laos have strengthened their solidarity and mutual trust as well as long-term cooperation and mutual support in all fields, according to the ambassador.
He stressed that in Việt Nam and Laos' external policies, no treaty they have signed with a foreign country had existed as long and been effective as the Việt Nam-Laos Treaty of Amity and Cooperation.
"Bilateral partnership in security-defence is special, stemming from the Laos-Việt Nam combat alliance established during the fight against foreign invaders and reinforced by the blood of dozens of thousands of Vietnamese and Lao soldiers," he said.
The partnership had been deepened and developed in the current challenges in the regional and international situation, he said, underlining that ties had contributed to ensuring peace and stability along the 2,337km shared borderline and maintaining sound relations and neighbourliness.
Hùng held that the security-defence partnership - a key pillar of the bilateral ties, would be further developed.
The ambassador said that political-diplomatic relations between the two sides had been growing on the foundation of solid political trust.
Meanwhile, the economic, trade and investment cooperation between Việt Nam and Laos had become more substantial and compelling.
Việt Nam is among the top three investors in Laos, while two-way trade hit US$1.37 billion in 2021, up 33.32 per cent year on year, the highest in 10 years. The two sides have worked together to strengthen transport infrastructure connectivity.
At the same time, people-to-people exchange has been promoted and deepened. Currently, all 18 cities and provinces of Laos have set up partnerships and twinned relations with Vietnamese localities, including Hà Nội and HCM City.
The diplomat held that joint projects such as the Hà Nội-Vientiane Expressway and Vũng Áng port showed high political trust and the brotherhood between the two nations.
They are expected to open up new opportunities for businesses of both countries to foster partnership, especially in tourism and services, while connecting the two economies and reflecting the close attachment and mutual support between the two countries.
The ambassador expressed his belief that with outstanding and sustainable achievements in the great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries, their ties would continue to thrive strongly and more sustainably in the future, meeting the aspirations of people in both countries.
Hùng stressed that amid the changing world and complex regional situation, especially with COVID-19 properly controlled, the organisation of activities within the Việt Nam-Laos Friendship and Solidarity Year 2022 were of significance in bilateral relations.
This was a good chance for people in both countries to review and deepen their mutual understanding as well as their great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation, raising their awareness of the responsibility to protect, develop and further lift ties, he said.
The ambassador pointed to the need to consider the education of the youth of both nations on the history and significant values of the bilateral ties as a regular task of the two Parties and States, along with the teaching of the Việt Nam-Laos special relationship in schools.
He added that the youth of both nations should continue to share experiences and help each other in poverty reduction while working together to build a shared border of peace, friendship, cooperation and development.
Lao Ambassador to Việt Nam Sengphet Houngboungnuang. — Photo vov.vn
Vietnam News Agency also interviewed Lao Ambassador to Việt Nam Sengphet Houngboungnuang, who affirmed that Việt Nam-Laos relations had been special and were rare ties with loyalty and purity, a valuable asset, and a decisive factor in the success of the revolution in each nation.
Sengphet underlined that Việt Nam and Laos had enjoyed close and special economic cooperation. After the two sides adjusted policies to suit the situation in each country, their economic, trade, and investment collaboration thrived.
The diplomat said that economic cooperation with Việt Nam had fostered Laos’ economic growth, improved the living conditions of the Lao people, and positively contributed to defence-security ties.
Regarding bilateral coordination in the digital transformation process, he said it was an important factor in the industrialisation and modernisation of Laos.
He said that Laos had designed strategies for digital economic development while issuing several legal documents in the field, including the Law on E-Commerce and Law on Electronic Signatures.
Laos had joined international deals such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, and had also expanded its partnership with other countries in digital technology development.
According to the ambassador, the country needs investment from leading firms in the digital economy of Việt Nam to catch up with countries in the region and the world.
For Vietnamese businesses intending to invest in Laos, the ambassador said his country offered various incentives for foreign investors while improving its domestic industries and infrastructure system.
Laos is calling for investment in three major regions, including remote and difficult regions with tough conditions for investors, regions with favourable conditions, and the special economic region, he said.
The diplomat also highlighted Laos' preferential policies to investors in particular regions and sectors.
He advised investors to focus on the cultivation, breeding and processing sectors to increase added value for farm produce and create more jobs for residents. — VNS