Prime Minister Arrives in Vientiane, Starting Official Visit to Laos
|Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (L) welcomed by his Lao counterpart Sonexay Siphandone. Photo: VNA|
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh arrived in Vientiane on January 11 morning, beginning his two-day official visit to Laos at the invitation of his Lao counterpart Sonexay Siphandone, during which he will co-chair the 45th meeting of the Vietnam-Laos Inter-Governmental Committee, VNA reported Wednesday.
He was welcomed at the airport by Minister, Chairman of the Lao Deputy PM Office Alounxai Sounnalath, Lao Deputy Foreign Minister Phoxay Khaykhamphithoune, Lao Ambassador to Vietnam Sengphet Houngboungnuang, and Vietnamese Ambassador to Laos Nguyen Ba Hung.
Right after arriving in Vientiane, Chinh laid a wreath at a monument dedicated to Laos’ unknown martyrs in tribute to Lao people who sacrificed for the independence and freedom of the country, as well as for Vietnam's independence, freedom and reunification.
PM Sonexay Siphandone then chaired an official welcome ceremony for PM Chinh and the Vietnamese high-ranking delegation.
|PM Sonexay Siphandone chairs official welcome ceremony for PM Pham Minh Chinh. Photo: VNA|
This is the first official visit to the neighbouring country by PM Chinh and his first overseas trip this year. PM Chinh is also the first foreign leader to visit Laos since PM Sonexay Siphandon took office.
The visit affirms Vietnam’s consistent policy of treasuring and prioritising the great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive partnership between the two nations, as well as Vietnam’s support for Laos during its national renovation and integration.
During his stay, Chinh is scheduled to hold talks with Sonexay Siphandone; pay a courtesy visit to Party General Secretary and President of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith; meet with National Assembly President Saysomphone Phomvihane; and attend a closing ceremony of the Vietnam-Laos, Laos-Vietnam Friendship and Solidarity Year.
The two sides will review outstanding achievements in bilateral ties in 2022, lay out major orientations for 2023, and discuss measures to enhance political-diplomatic and national defence-security cooperation and effectively implement legal documents related to border and overseas Vietnamese and Lao affairs.
They will also look for ways to push forward economic-trade-investment, education and culture ties, connectivity between the two economies, contributing to effectively carrying out key projects and mutual liaison at regional and global forums, particularly within the framework of ASEAN and Mekong sub-regional cooperation.
The Vietnamese leader is also due to meet Vietnamese community living in Laos and commit the Party and State’s support for them, thus contributing to upholding the great national unity
|Award ceremony for 2022 special competition on history of Vietnam-Laos special relationship. Photo: VNA|
A range of political, economic, education, cultural and tourism and people-to-people exchange activities were held during Vietnam-Laos, Laos-Vietnam Solidarity and Friendship Year 2022.
Two-way trade was estimated at USD 1.63 billion last year, up 20% annually. With 238 valid projects worth about USD 5.34 billion in Laos, Vietnam remained the third biggest investor in the country.
About 14,000 Lao students are studying in 160 Vietnamese educational establishments. In the first nine months of last year, Laos welcomed around 197,000 Vietnamese visitors and roughly 26,000 Lao tourists arrived in Vietnam.
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