Vietnam, Laos Agree to Improving Efficiency of Cooperation in Key Areas
Visiting Vietnam's Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung on March 23 paid courtesy calls to Lao Party General Secretary and President Thongloun Sisoulith, National Assembly Chairman Saysomphone Phomvihane, and Deputy Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone, VNA reported.
|Lao Party General Secretary and President Thongloun Sisoulith (R) meets Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung. Photo: VNA|
During the meetings, Minister Dung briefed the hosts on activities of the Vietnamese delegation in Laos, including organising a business seminar; attending the inauguration and ground-breaking ceremonies of a number of projects using non-refundable aid from the Vietnamese Government for Laos.
Despite the complex economic, political, and Covid-19 situation in the world, the two countries’ high-level joint statements and agreements have still been carried out well from central to local levels.
Vietnamese businesses have invested about USD 5.3 billion in 214 projects in Laos, ranking third among foreign investors here, following China and Thailand.
They poured USD 64.3 million into one new project and two existing ones in Laos in the first two months of 2022.
During the two months, bilateral trade reached USD 243.2 million, up 15.39% year on year. That consists of USD 75.74 million in Vietnam’s exports to and USD 167.46 million in imports from Laos, respectively dropping 21.94% and rising 47.9%.
Notably, Vietnam has earmarked VND 733 billion (USD 32 million) in non-refundable aid for Laos this year
According to the Vietnamese official, the projects not only help change agricultural production model in Lao localities towards green economy and sustainable commodity production with application of science and technology to improve added value, but also contribute to improving the living conditions of local people.
Reporting to the Lao leaders on cooperation between the two countries’ planning and investment ministries, Dung said that the two sides agreed ton the need to continue promoting their cooperation in the coming time.
The Vietnamese ministry is ready to share experience, send experts to Laos to help the country stabilise its macro-economy, and enhance professional training for Lao staff.
To concretise this content, the two ministries signed a cooperation agreement for the 2022-2023 period, especially in the fields of statistics, FDI attraction and personal training, he revealed.
According to the minister, the ministries will make efforts to coordinate with relevant ministries and agencies of the two countries to effectively implement the Vietnam-Laos cooperation agreements, programmes and projects, and at the same time actively prepare for important external activities in the Vietnam - Laos, Laos - Vietnam Year of Friendship and Solidarity 2022.
Party General Secretary and President of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith highly valued cooperation results between the two ministries in recent times, suggesting them actively exchange information and share experience in investment, macroeconomic stability and professional training.
|Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung pays a working visit to Laos from March 21 to 23. Source: EFR|
The two sides need to take solutions to remove difficulties and obstacles facing Vietnamese and Lao businesses, thus improving the efficiency of cooperation in economy, investment, trade, culture, education-training and science; and speed up the implementation of projects, especially key ones, he said.
Meanwhile, NA Chairman Saysomphone Phomvihan affirmed that the Lao Party, State, NA, Government and people always attach great importance to and give the highest priority to consolidating and strengthening the great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation with Vietnam.
The top Lao legislator also spoke highly of the maintenance of important cooperation mechanisms between the two ministries to exchange strategic issues in the spirit of frankness and trust, contributing to giving advice to the Party and State leaders of the two countries regarding external affairs.
|The talks between the Vietnamese and Laos Ministries of Planning and Investment in Vientiane on March 21. Photo: baodautu.vn|
Earlier on March 21, Dung, head of the Vietnam - Laos Cooperation Committee, called for the countries’ stronger connections in key areas during talks with his counterpart Khamjane Vongphosy, who is also head of the Laos - Vietnam Cooperation Committee.
It is also necessary to further improve cooperation in key areas, including defence, security, trade, investment, transport connectivity, education - training, locality-to-locality ties, and people-to-people exchange, according to the Vietnamese official.
Regarding Vietnam’s direct investment projects in Laos, Dung asked the Lao ministry to further create optimal conditions and propose the Lao government issue favourable policies for Vietnamese investors in the country.
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