|Vietnamese PM Phạm Minh Chính and his Lao counterpart Sonexay Siphandone at the signing ceremony of Memorandum of Understanding at the 45th meeting of Việt Nam-Laos Inter-governmental Committee. – VNA/VNS Photo|
VIENTIANE – Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính and his Lao host Sonexay Siphandone co-chaired the 45th meeting of the Việt Nam-Laos Inter-Governmental Committee in Vientiane on Thursday.
The two sides agree to put into action the conclusions of the two Politburos and the agreement on the 2023 cooperation plan to boost collaboration across spheres, from politics, diplomacy, and national defence-security to investment and trade.
They will also work to create changes in partnerships in economy, culture, education, health care, and science-technology, raise the efficiency of investment, and promote socio-economic infrastructure development in Laos.
The two sides noted the comprehensive cooperation outcomes recorded in 2022, saying the bilateral trade surpassed the set target to reach US$1.73 billion, up 24 per cent from the previous year.
Việt Nam’s investment in Laos last year also exceeded $180 million, a year-on-year rise of 52.5 per cent.
The two countries agreed to focus on implementing joint statements and agreements reached by the two Politburos and others, including the one inked at the 45th meeting.
They will also step up political, diplomatic, national defence-security, investment and trade ties, striving to raise the two-way trade by 10-15 per cent in 2023 compared to the previous year.
The sides consented to expand collaboration in personnel training, invest in transport projects, and join hands in the sustainable use of water resources and other natural resources.
Greater efforts will be made to deal with obstacles to projects funded by Việt Nam and invested by Vietnamese firms in Laos, encouraging ministries, agencies and localities to expand relations and support each other.
In the spirit of mutual trust, the two countries will provide mutual support and cooperate at regional and international organisations and forums.
Siphandone suggested the two sides continue delegation exchanges at all levels and through all channels to constantly consolidate their political relations, intensify the exchange of political theory, coordinate in ensuring security and social order and safety, and forge cooperation in national defence and security.
He said bilateral economic cooperation should be further advanced, calling for joint efforts to improve the investment environment and enhance economic connectivity, including infrastructure in transport, telecoms and energy.
In his remarks, Chính affirmed that the Vietnamese Party, Government and people consider their Lao counterparts close, reliable comrades and brothers.
Therefore, he said, the main task lies in enhancing connectivity and supporting each other in building an economy of independence and self-reliance, which integrates into the world intensively, extensively, pragmatically and effectively.
He said the two sides should facilitate the operations of their businesses, asking both sides' ministries, agencies and localities to play a more active part, especially in settling roadblocks to projects.
The Vietnamese Government will drastically instruct ministries, agencies, localities and enterprises to coordinate with the Lao side to materialise commitments made at the meeting effectively, the leader pledged.
The meeting is expected to create new momentum, making the bilateral collaboration more substantive and effective and contributing to consolidating and strengthening the traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries, he said.
Before the meeting, the leaders visited a photo exhibition on the land and people of the two countries, and their relations, especially in finance, banking, energy, telecoms, agriculture and forestry.
The Vietnam News Agency and the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment jointly held the event.
Việt Nam-Laos investment co-operation
Vietnamese PM Phạm Minh Chính and his Lao counterpart Sonexay Siphandone also co-chaired a conference on Việt Nam-Laos investment cooperation on Thursday.
Lao Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone committed that Laos will create favourable conditions for big Vietnamese investors to invest in Laos’ fields of strength and potential, such as green and hi-tech agriculture, renewable energy, service, logistics and tourism.
According to the conference, the total registered investment capital of Việt Nam to Laos has reached US$5.34 billion.
Laos maintains the first position among 79 countries and territories where Vietnamese enterprises invest. Việt Nam is in the top three countries with the largest direct investment in Laos.
Laos currently has ten investment projects in Việt Nam with a total registered capital of over $71 million. Vietnamese authorities facilitate Lao enterprises operating in Việt Nam regarding investment and business.
Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính praised Vietnamese and Lao businesses for overcoming challenges in recent times, contributing to each country's economic and social development.
He praised the institutions of the two governments for consistently implementing policies so businesses feel secure in making investments.
He said that the two countries need to create an open investment environment suitable for each period and launch incentive and priority mechanisms for sectors that need growth promotion.
He said that the two governments need to share, coordinate and support each other to build an independent and self-reliant economy associated with active, extensive and effective international integration.
He highlighted the necessity to build transport and socio-cultural infrastructure connecting the two countries.
He said Vietnamese businesses in Laos need to compete reasonably and do business following the law.
Besides production and business mission to make profits, the Vietnamese enterprises must perform political and social security tasks and foster solidarity and friendship between the two countries, he said.
He said “harmony among states, people and business communities” and “risk sharing” are key to Việt Nam-Laos cooperation. – VNS