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Laos, Vietnam pledge to boost special ties

The governments of Laos and Vietnam have vowed to create favourable conditions to enable the sectors responsible to broaden cooperation in trade, investment, education and other areas of potential.
The two sides also agreed to increase the value of year-on-year two-way trade by 10-15 percent this year. In addition, they agreed to expand cooperation in communications and transport, as well as in hydropower development, electricity transmission, and the purchase of energy.
These were some of the outcomes of the 44th Laos-Vietnam Inter-governmental Committee held in Hanoi on Monday. The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister

Phankham Viphavanh and his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Minh Chinh and attended by senior officials from the two countries.
The meeting took place during an official visit to Vietnam by Lao PM Phankham from January 8-10 in response to an invitation from Vietnamese premier Pham Minh Chinh.
Vietnam is a major foreign investor and a key trading partner of Laos.
According to a Vietnamese media (Nhan Dan) report, Vietnam presently has 209 valid investment projects in Laos, with total registered capital of about US$5.18 billion.
Last year, five new projects were registered and four underwent capital adjustments, with a total combined capital of US$112.84 million, an increase of 27 percent compared to 2020.
Trade between Laos and Vietnam has continued to grow despite the Covid-19 pandemic, with the value of two-way trade reaching US$1.34 billion in 2021, an increase of 30.2 percent on the previous year.
During the meeting, the two sides also agreed to work towards the fulfilment of agreements previously signed by the two governments.
The Lao and Vietnamese premiers highlighted the importance of security and social order along their shared border, with a view to creating a border of friendship, cooperation and development.
In other areas, cooperation in education between the two neighbours has strengthened and there are currently over 14,000 Lao nationals studying in Vietnam.
At the close of the meeting, the two premiers witnessed the signing of nine cooperation documents between their countries’ ministries and private sectors. One of these documents concerned an increase in the Lao government’s shareholding in the Vung Ang seaport from 20 percent to 60 percent.
Speaking at a press conference, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Planning and Investment, Mr Sonexay Siphandone, highlighted the achievements of the meeting, which he said would further strengthen the special ties between the two countries.
The two sides agreed to jointly celebrate the 60th anniversary of their diplomatic ties and the 45th year since the signing of the Vietnam-Laos Treaty of Amity and Cooperation, with events planned to mark these important anniversaries this year. After the Inter-governmental Committee meeting, the two prime ministers chaired a meeting of their business sectors, aiming to spur investment cooperation between business leaders in both countries. This will create conditions conducive to success for while also addressing challenges for Vietnamese companies investing in Laos and Lao entrepreneurs with business interests in Vietnam.

By Somsack Pongkhao
 (Latest Update January 11, 2022)

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