|General Secretary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) Central Committee and President of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith. — VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — General Secretary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) Central Committee and President of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith, his wife and a high-ranking Lao Party and State delegation will pay an official visit to Việt Nam from June 28-29.
The visit is made at the invitation of General Secretary of the Communist Party of Việt Nam’s Central Committee Nguyễn Phú Trọng and State President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc and their spouses.
This is the first overseas trip by Thongloun Sisoulith in his capacity as Lao Party General Secretary and President for the 2021-26 tenure, helping to affirm the two countries’ foreign policies of attaching great importance to preserving and continuously developing the great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation.
The relationship has been consolidated and developed intensively, extensively, practically and effectively in different spheres, with political ties playing the core role.
The two sides have coordinated to organise visits, meetings and exchange programmes between leaders of the two Parties and countries, while signing many important cooperative agreements between the two Parties and governments.
Party commissions, ministries, agencies and localities of Việt Nam and Laos have also signed and actively implemented cooperative agreements and programmes, exchanged visits and shared experience.
Joint efforts have been made to raise public awareness of the bilateral ties, especially among young people, organise major events, and build and upgrade historical relic sites featuring the relations.
Despite the complex development of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and early 2021, the two countries maintained a number of visits and meetings in suitable forms.
Cooperation in national defence and security, and external affairs has also been seen as an important pillar of the bilateral ties.
The two sides have worked together to realise protocols and annual cooperative plans between the ministries of national defence and public security, build a common border of stability and sustainable development, complete a project to increase and upgrade border markers, and reach a protocol on Việt Nam-Laos borderline and border markers and an agreement on land border and border gates management regulations between the Vietnamese and Lao governments.
Competent forces of the two countries have coordinated in the fight against cross-border crime, especially drug smuggling, the search and repatriation of remains of Vietnamese volunteers and experts who laid down their lives in the neighbouring country, and the COVID-19 combat.
At the same time, the two countries have closely and effectively coordinated at multilateral forums.
The political ties have created a firm foundation for bilateral economic cooperation. Việt Nam has invested US$4.22 billion in 413 projects in Laos so far, up about 30 per cent from 2010, with about $2.2 billion disbursed.
During the 2016-20 period, two-way trade revenue stood at around $4.8 billion.
Attention has also been paid to cooperation in personnel training in transport and construction, energy industry; education and training; and people-to-people diplomacy.
The Việt Nam visit by the top leader of Laos will offer an opportunity for the two sides to further exchange experience in development, and seek measures to push ahead with the implementation of high-level agreements between the two Parties and countries in 2021 and the years to come.
Lao Ambassador to Việt Nam Sengphet Houngbounnuang, during an interview with local media, said the upcoming visit affirms the stance of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party in continuing to maintain, nurture and promote the great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the two Parties, States and peoples.
The diplomat also highlighted the mutual support in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic between the two nations, affirming that the exchange of experience between a delegation of Vietnamese medical experts and Lao doctors and nurses has helped Laos basically control the pandemic. — VNS