HA NOI — President Nguyen Minh Triet met with the Vietnamese community and diplomatic officials in Laos yesterday, the second day of his working visit to the country.
The President praised their role in contributing to the ties between Viet Nam and Laos and asked them to uphold their role to further boost the relationship. He asked the Vietnamese diplomats in Laos to closely follow and report any problems in the investment activities of Vietnamese businesses in Laos.
"The Vietnamese Embassy in Laos should be a bridge to help tighten the friendly, economic and trade relations between the two countries."
Triet later met with Vietnamese people living in Laos, asking them to continue their contribution to their home country's development by serving as a link to promoting the two nations' relationship.
Later yesterday, Triet visited two Lao provinces – Louang Namtha in the north and Champasak in the south – which are in co-operation with Vietnamese provinces.
Louang Namtha borders both China and Thailand, playing the tourism role of linking Kunming and Bangkok. It has been in co-operation with the Vietnamese northern provinces of Vinh Phuc and Phu Tho in many socio-economic fields. The Vietnamese provinces have helped built cultural houses, hospitals and schools in Louang Namtha which is home to 162,000 people who have a per-capita income of US$680 per year.
Triet asked the Lao province to further explore its geographical advantage to promote development in the border area and its strength in hydro-power. The President gave the province VND10 billion and 30 computers as gifts and Vietnamese businesses yesterday also donated $150,000 to help the province's poor families.
The southern province of Champasak has 18 projects with Vietnamese funding, worth a total of $1 billion. In total, 13 localities in the centre and south of Viet Nam – including HCM City, have been the top investors in Champasak for the last five years. The Lao province asked Viet Nam to further boost investment in agriculture, industrial plantation, transport, tourism, education and training.
The Vietnamese leader praised the achievements of the co-operation between Champasak and Vietnamese provinces and cities as a highlight in the development of the two countries' relationship.
The mayor of Champasak, Sonsay Siphandon, confirmed the province's priority to promoting the co-operation with Viet Nam.
A direct flight between Pakse, the largest city in Champasak, and HCM City will open in October. — VNS