At the meeting (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has affirmed that Vietnam always exerts best efforts to assist Laos in national development, and strengthen bilateral fraternal ties and effective coordination at regional and global forums.

He made the statement at the 39th meeting of the Vietnam-Laos Inter-Governmental Committee held in Hanoi on February 7-8. This was the first time the PMs of the two countries had co-chaired an Inter-Governmental Committee meeting, demonstrating the two governments’ commitment to effectively implementing their cooperation plan for 2017.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc urged both countries to work closely together to prepare for the 55th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties and the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC).

He pledged to drastically direct ministries, agencies, localities, businesses and relevant units to coordinate with Lao partners to realise commitments set at the meeting.

Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, for his part, vowed to cooperate with Vietnam to hold celebrations of the two countries’ major anniversaries and raise public awareness of the Vietnam-Laos special solidarity, especially among young generations.

The two sides expressed satisfaction at the effective implementation of high-level agreements and deals between ministries, agencies and localities last year. Bilateral ties across political, diplomatic, national defence-security, economic and socio-cultural fields have been strengthened and expanded.

Education is a highlight in bilateral cooperation, with more than 14,000 Lao students are pursuing studies in Vietnam.

Regarding investment partnership, Vietnamese firms have poured nearly 3.7 billion USD into more than 400 projects in Laos.

A new mechanism to coordinate bilateral cooperation was introduced at the meeting.

Both sides agreed to reinforce political, diplomatic, national defence-security, investment and trade ties while expanding coordination in human resources training, transport infrastructure, and the sustainable use and management of water and natural resources.

They were determined to work closely together to hold the Year of Vietnam-Laos Solidarity and Friendship 2017, the 55th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties and the 40th anniversary of the TAC signing. They also pledged to provide mutual support at regional and global organisations and forums.

Following the meeting, the two Prime Ministers witnessed the signing of four cooperation documents, including an agreement on cooperation plan in 2017 between the two governments, the minute of the Vietnam-Laos Inter-Governmental Committee’s 39th meeting, a collaboration plan between the two education ministries, and a minutes on the establishment of a joint-venture to build a 500kV power transmission line connecting the two countries.

The two PMs later also co-chaired a press conference on the outcomes of the meeting.-VNA