The European Union wishes to strengthen cooperation with Laos, especially in areas of climate change, human rights, legal issues and immigration.

David Lipman, Head of Delegation of the European Union in Laos made this statement at a briefing on May 3 in Laos, on the occasion of the 62 nd anniversary of Europe Day.

Through the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), the EU and Laos join efforts to build a close relationship in both bilateral and regional terms.

EU-Laos relations have now developed into political counterpart relations and now the EU is a key donor of Laos, with 15 million EUR in developmental aid disbursed each year, excluding the significant assistance from each EU member country to Laos in the fields of education, health care, rural development in highland areas, food security, State management, trade, small enterprise development and emergency aid.

The EU has committed to provide the Lao government with a total of 37.5 million EUR this year. It will also fund rural development programmes in Laos, with 6 million EUR in 2013, as part of its assistance to Laos in achieving its target of getting out of the under-developed nations list by 2020.-VNA