Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith. — VNA/VNS Photo Trọng Đức
HÀ NỘI — Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith is leading a delegation to Việt Nam for a visit and to co-chair the 42nd meeting of the Việt Nam – Laos Inter-Governmental Committee from January 2-4 at the invitation of his counterpart Nguyễn Xuân Phúc.
The organisation of the meeting aims to affirm the priority that the two countries give to developing their great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive partnership. The meeting will also strengthen political trust between the two countries and create a channel for directing the implementation of high-level agreements.
Việt Nam and Laos boast a long-standing special solidarity and faithful relationship nurtured by late Presidents Hồ Chí Minh, Kaysone Phomvihane and Souphanouvong, and generations of the two countries’ leaders and people.
Bilateral political and diplomatic ties have continued to be reinforced, as seen through mutual visits at all levels.
By the end of August, the countries had exchanged more than 120 delegations, about 60 of which were at the deputy ministerial or higher levels. Both sides successfully organised the 41st meeting of the inter-governmental committee co-chaired by the two prime ministers.
Cooperation in defence, security and diplomacy has continued to record new development.
The countries have also coordinated closely and supported each other at regional and international forums. They have further enhanced cooperation with each other and other ASEAN members in building the ASEAN Community and maintaining the bloc’s solidarity and consensus in the strategic issues of the region, including the East Sea issue.
Laos strongly supported Việt Nam’s bid for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council and holding of the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020.
Việt Nam and Laos have witnessed robust cooperation in economy, culture, education-training and science-technology.
Despite the global economic downturn, they attained US$940 million in two-way trade during January-October of 2019, and the figure is projected to top $1.1-1.2 billion for the whole year, surpassing the set target of $1 billion.
Việt Nam remains the third largest foreign investor in Laos. Vietnamese businesses have to date invested $4.22 billion in 413 projects in Laos, mainly in hydropower, mining, services, agriculture and telecoms.
Việt Nam provides VNĐ3.25 trillion (US$140 million) in non-refundable aid for Laos each year during 2016-2020. — VNS