|Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc meets with his Lao counterpart Somsavat Lengsavad on Saturday in the south central province of Binh Dinh's Quy Nhon city. — VNA/VNS Photo Doan Tan
BINH DINH (VNS) — Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc pledged that the Government would boost co-operation between localities in Viet Nam and Laos during talks with his Lao counterpart Somsavat Lengsavad on Saturday in the south central province of Binh Dinh's Quy Nhon city.
During the talks, which focused on the affiliation between the south central and Central Highlands provinces in Viet Nam and seven southern localities in Laos, the Deputy PM called on local governments, people, organisations and businesses to work together to further socio-economic development.
He also praised the longstanding ties between the two countries.
The two parties agreed to enhance comprehensive co-operation, not only between the two governments but also between border localities and interior provinces and cities, such as Binh Dinh and provinces in southern Laos.
Over the past 10 years, the partnership between south central and Central Highlands provinces in Viet Nam and seven southern localities in Laos had expanded in all fields, from socio-economic development to culture and education, they said.
Many Vietnamese firms, such as Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group and Binh Dinh Pharmaceutical and Medical Equipment Joint Stock Company, have invested in southern provinces in Laos.
Binh Dinh province and the association of Vietnamese investors in Laos held an economic forum yesterday that attracted 80 Vietnamese businesses currently investing in Laos.
Laos has approved 423 projects for Vietnamese firms with total investment of US$5 billion, making Viet Nam the second-largest investor in Laos, according to Viet Nam's Ministry of Investment and Planning.
By the end of September, bilateral trade reached $1 billion, with businesses from Viet Nam's Central Highlands and south-central region accounting for 82 per cent of the investment.
Forum participants called for the two Governments to eliminate procedural hurdles slowing the speed of investment projects, especially in the area of energy and mining.
Deputy PM Phuc said that more dialogues and exchanges between the two countries' ministries and localities would ensure favorable policies and investment environments.
He added that Vietnamese investors should focus on speeding the implementation of approved projects and ensuring the highest quality for these projects, as well as paying attention to environmental protection, poverty reduction and social responsibilities in Laos.
Since 2000, Binh Dinh enterprises have invested dozens of millions of dollars in Laos' four southern provinces of Champasak, Attapeu, Sekong and Salavan. The province has also set up twin relations with Champasak province and provided support for Champasak and other Lao localities. Binh Dinh runs a scholarship programme for Laos students and sends experts in all fields to Lao localities to help boost socio-economic development.
Lao PM Somsavat Lengsavad also met with Lao students at Quy Nhon University and visited Nhon Hoi economic zone and Quy Nhon port. — VNS