Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) and his Lao counterpart Thongloun Sisoulith (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc held talks with his Lao counterpart Thongloun Sisoulith in Hanoi on May 15 following a grand welcome ceremony. 

PM Phuc said the Lao government head’s choosing Vietnam as the first country to visit after taking the position reflects the importance that Laos attaches to the friendship and cooperation with Vietnam. 

He said the visit creates a new driving force for bilateral ties, while expressing his belief that the fraternal Lao people will successfully realise the resolution adopted by the 10 th National Party Congress and the 2016-2020 socio-economic development plan. 

Both sides expressed satisfaction at the development of the special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries, including the realization of many goals set by the Vietnam-Laos strategy on economic, cultural, scientific and technological cooperation for 2011-2020. Their governmental cooperation treaty for 2011-2015 was also a success, helping deepen and expand bilateral ties. 

The two sides affirmed the resolve of the two Parties, States and peoples to continue fostering the loyal and special solidarity between Vietnam and Laos, considering it as an invaluable asset of the two nations which needs to be passed on to later generations. 

Both sides stated they will work together to implement agreements sealed by high-ranking leaders of the two countries in terms of politics, diplomacy, defence-security, trade and investment. 

The two PMs pledged to direct ministries, agencies and local authorities to carry out the cooperation plan between the two governments for 2016 and the Vietnam-Laos cooperation pact for 2016-2020. 

The intergovernmental committee on bilateral collaboration should be further strengthened to operate more effectively, they said. 

The two PMs agreed to coordinate for the effective implementation of agreements signed between the two countries last year, including a trade agreement, a border trade pact, and a memorandum of understanding on transport cooperation for 2016-2025. 

They agreed to facilitate operations of Vietnamese firms investing in Laos and expand the model of one stop-one check at border gates, while striving for the goal of raising bilateral trade revenue by 20 percent in 2016 compared to 2015. 

The two sides affirmed to effectively implement the protocol on defence-security cooperation for 2016-2020, focusing on developing a peaceful borderline that can serve as an example in the region. 

They also agreed to boost engagement in human resources training and cultural exchange as well as jointly organize activities to mark the 55 th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations in 2017. 

Both sides were pleased with their mutual support at regional and international forums, such as the cooperation mechanisms of Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam (CLV) and Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam-Myanmar (CLMV), the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS), the Asia-Europe Meeting and the United Nations. 

Laos supports Vietnam in hosting the ACMECS 7th and CLMV 8th Summits in October, PM Thongloun Sisoulith said. 

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc appreciated the effective collaboration of Laos as Chair of the ASEAN, affirming Vietnam will continue to support the neighbouring country in successfully undertaking the role of the ASEAN Chair in 2016. 

He asked Laos to continue its coordination in order to ensure the ASEAN’s solidarity and common stance in the East Sea issue, contributing to maintaining peace, stability, security and safety of navigation and aviation, fully and effectively observing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and early reaching a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

The Vietnamese government leader thanked Laos for increasing water discharge from hydropower dams on the Mekong River as well as for its support for Vietnam in overcoming consequences of the prolonged drought and saline intrusion in the country’s southern areas. 

The two sides agreed to continue coordinating with related countries and international organisations in managing and using the Mekong River’s water in a sustainable and effective manner.

PM Thongloun Sisoulith invited his Vietnamese counterpart to pay an official visit to Laos. PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc accepted the invitation, and the visit will be arranged through the diplomatic channel. 

Following their talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of some cooperation agreements for 2016 between the two countries’ ministries and localities in areas of investment, agriculture and education.

On the occasion, the Vietinbank presented an aid worth 200,000 USD for the Lao government to promote welfare activity.-VNA