Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (R) and Lao counterpart Thongsing Thammavong (Photo: VNA)
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and his Lao counterpart Thongsing Thammavong held talks in Vientiane on September 14 to discuss measures to step up cooperation between the two countries across the board.

The PMs expressed their delight at the growing traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the two Parties, States and peoples.

They agreed to maintain and promote mutual trust in their political partnerships as well as high-level delegation exchanges under various forms.

Vietnam is one of the biggest investors in Laos with bilateral trade gradually increasing in recent years.

Collaboration in culture, education-training, science-technology, transport and agriculture has also seen positive changes.

The PMs agreed that the two Parties and Governments will continue to give top priority to the reinforcement and development of the Vietnam-Laos special relations, regarding the ties as valuable and of vital significance to the respective causes of national revolution.

They were unanimous in coordinating to organise important event anniversaries of the two countries through the year’s end, including the 40th anniversary of the Lao National Day (December 2) and the 95th birth anniversary of President Kaysone Phomvihane.

The two sides will also prepare for the 38th session of the Inter-Governmental Committee and the annual consultation between the two countries’ Deputy Prime Ministers and Foreign Ministers in late 2015.

The countries will work together to effectively implement the new trade agreement and the agreement on the cross-border trade of goods and services while seeking to increase trade to 2 billion USD in 2015.

The leaders also considered measures to support Vietnamese and Lao enterprises to run investment projects in the respective countries, particularly the construction of bonded warehouses and oil pipelines from Hon La port in Vietnam’s central Quang Binh province to the Lao province of Khammouane.

They agreed to enhance transport connections, including a highway project connecting Vientiane-Pac San (Laos) with Thanh Thuy-Hanoi (Vietnam) and the route from Phuthitphong in Luang Prabang province to Naxon bordering Dien Bien Dong district of Vietnam’s northern Dien Bien province.

The two PMs also examined regional and international issues of mutual concern and concurred to promote the sound cooperative ties between the two countries at regional and international forums, especially within the cooperation framework of ASEAN to maintain the common stance and voice of the bloc in regional important strategic issues, including those on the East Sea.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung confirmed that Vietnam will coordinate closely and offer the utmost assistance to help Laos fulfil the role of ASEAN Chair in 2016.

The Lao PM expressed his belief that the commencement of the kali salt processing project in Laos’ Khammouan province on the occasion of PM Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit would bring pragmatic benefits for the two sides, helping propel bilateral cooperation forward, especially in economics, trade, investment, labour and technology transfer.

After the talks, the two PMs witnessed the signing of a governmental Memorandum of Understanding on strategic cooperation in transport from 2016-2025 with a vision to 2030.-VNA