The special ties between Vietnam and Laos have a bright future with plentiful cooperation prospects, stated Vietnamese Ambassador to Laos Nguyen Manh Hung.

Speaking to a Vietnam News Agency correspondent in Vientiane on the occasion of the ongoing Laos visit of State President Truong Tan Sang from March 23-25, he said bilateral relations between the two countries have seen substantial progress in all fields.

In the political field, there are frequent meetings among leaders of both sides, while the defence and security partnership has been strengthened, contributing to firmly protecting each country’s independence, sovereignty and national integrity, maintaining national security and social order.

Economic affiliations have also been growing with trade reaching 1.4 billion USD last year, he said, adding that the figure is expected to grow as Vietnam and Laos launched a pilot “one-stop-shop” border customs model at the Lao Bao-Densavan border gates.

Meanwhile, transportation connections between Vietnam and Laos have also improved, contributing to boosting goods exchange and raising trade, he noted.

Vietnam is now one of the largest investors in Laos with more than 400 projects worth over 5 billion USD.

This year, the Vietnamese Government plans to grant 1,000 scholarships to Lao students, he noted, adding that the bilateral cultural connection remains strong.

On such a firm foundation, the traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation will be further promoted, becoming a critical factor for peace, stability, cooperation and growth in the region and the world, Ambassador Hung said.

The diplomat held that President Truong Tan Sang’s visit, which coincides with celebrations for the 60 th anniversary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, is a great catalyst for the implementation of high-level agreements between the two Parties and cooperation deals reached between the two governments.

During the visit, the State leader is scheduled to hold talks with Lao President Choummaly Sayasone and meet with Prime Minister Thongsing Thamavong and Chairwoman of the Lao National Assembly Pany Yathotou, among others.

They will share ideas towards successfully realising agreements between the two Parties and Governments as well as stepping up bilateral economic, trade, cultural, science-technology, and security-defence deals, said Hung.

As Vietnam and Laos actively work towards international integration and the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community, President Truong Tan Sang’s visit is motivation for closer coordination at regional and international forums contributing to peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world, said the ambassador.-VNA