Lao Prime Minister Thoonglun Sisoulith led a delegation to Việt Nam to attend the event, which also aims to increase political trust and direct the implementation of high-level agreements to boost ties. — VNA/VNS Photo Phạm Kiên
HÀ NỘI – The 39th meeting of the Việt Nam–Laos Intergovernmental Committee being held today in Hà Nội will reaffirm the two countries’ foreign policy priorities in developing friendship and co-operation.
Lao Prime Minister Thoonglun Sisoulith led a delegation to Việt Nam to attend the event, which also aims to increase political trust and direct the implementation of high-level agreements to boost ties.
The meeting, which will be co-chaired by Thoonglun Sisoulith and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, will scrutinise the implementation of agreements and promotion of cooperation between the two countries.
Việt Nam-Laos relations have been strengthened with regular delegation exchanges and meetings at all levels. Party General Secretary Nguyen Phú Trọng made an official visit to Laos in November, 2016.
Việt Nam supported Laos in undertaking the chairmanship of ASEAN and holding the ASEAN Summit last year. The two sides coordinated in ensuring security and defence and fighting transnational crime. Trade and investment links between the two countries also saw progress.
Vietnamese enterprises have registered to invest US$5.1 billion in Laos, ranking third among foreign investors in the country. Two-way trade between the two countries in 2016 hit $801 million.
Trade promotion activities were intensified through fairs and conferences.
Additionally, the two sides signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in transportation, focusing on completing a study on a proposed Hà Nội-Vientiane highway, and accelerating implementation of transport projects within bilateral cooperation and in the Mekong sub-region.
About 100,200 Lao tourists visited Việt Nam in the first nine months of 2016, while the number of Vietnamese visitors to Laos reached 760,500 in the period, up 20 per cent year-on-year.
Vietnam began construction of two hospitals in Houaphan and Xiangkhouang provinces worth about $20 million and $17.6 million, respectively. Education and training cooperation between Việt Nam and Laos have been also expanded. More than 14,000 Lao students study in Việt Nam.
The two sides are also co-operating on science and technology, natural resources and environment, agriculture, telecommunications, labour, culture, museums and tourism.
Việt Nam helped Laos develop agricultural and broadcasting projects in Xiangkhouang and Udomsay by providing official development assistance. The two nations closely co-operate at regional and international forums and coordinate with other ASEAN member nations in building the ASEAN Community.
This year, the two sides will celebrate 40 years since the signing of the Việt Nam– Laos Treaty of Amity and Co-operation (July 18, 1997) and the 55th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic ties. — VNS