Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith. VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith will lead a high-ranking delegation for a visit to Việt Nam next week.
Along with his wife, the PM will arrive after an invitation from Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc.
Việt Nam and Laos have enjoyed a traditional friendship, special solidarity and thriving partnership in all fields.
In the past, political ties between the two countries have been expanded with stronger trust playing a key role in bilateral relations. The two sides have held regular meetings and delegation exchanges in all channels.
The bilateral partnership in defence, security and external affairs has improved with the close coordination in ensuring political stability and building a shared border of peace, stability and development.
Along with the effective cooperation in implementing a project to upgrade the border marker system, Việt Nam and Laos have worked together to fight trans-border crimes, deal with undocumented marriages and free migration in the border areas and search and repatriate the remains of Vietnamese soldiers who died in Laos, with 233 sets of remains repatriated in the 2017-18 dry season.
Việt Nam and Laos have regularly exchanged viewpoints on regional and international issues, while coordinating with and supporting each other at multilateral cooperation forums, especially within the framework of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the United Nations.
Meanwhile, co-operation in economy, culture, education-training and science-technology has also developed.
By December 2018, Việt Nam has invested in 409 projects worth US$4.1 billion in Laos, mostly in hydropower, mining, industrial plant growing and services. Among the completed and operating projects are Xekaman 1 hydropower plant, Mường Thanh Vientiane Hotel, Crown Plaza and Viettel's joint venture in Laos.
Two new projects worth $12.81 million were approved in 2017, and eight others with total capital of $95 million were licensed in 2018.
The two sides have implemented a new bilateral trade agreement, a border trade deal and a revised protocol on goods transit while launching the “one door-one stop” at Lao Bảo-Densavanh border gate.
Last year, two-way trade between the two countries was valued at about $1 billion. Việt Nam imported beverages, wood, mineral products and agricultural products from Laos, while exporting oil and gas, fertiliser, steel, machines, electric equipment, construction materials and spare parts to the neighbouring country. VNS