A performance at the festival's opening ceremony (Photo: VNA)

Dien Bien (VNA) – The Vietnam-Laos special friendship festival opened in Dien Bien Phu city in the northern border province of Dien Bien on December 8 to mark the 56th anniversary of diplomatic ties and the 41st anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation between the two countries.

The event drew representatives from the Lao Embassy in Vietnam and northern Lao provinces, as well as leaders of 24 provinces sharing the borderlines with Laos, China and Cambodia, among others.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Hoang Vinh Bao emphasised the significance of the festival in strengthening the traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Laos.

The two-day festival was expected to offer a chance to boost the dissemination of information about external relations in border areas in order to raise awareness and responsibility of local authorities and people of firmly safeguarding national independence, sovereignty, unity, territorial integrity, maintaining peace and stability for national development and raising Vietnam’s position and prestige in the region and the world as a whole.

It also enabled businesses of Dien Bien province to expand their partnerships, he added.

The festival featured a series of activities, including artistic performances, a photo exhibition on Vietnam-Laos special ties, and an economic, culture and tourism fair.

A conference to promote trade, investment and tourism of Dien Bien was held, seeking measures to strengthen border exchange activities of Vietnamese border localities and Dien Bien with border provinces of Laos and the East-West economic corridor.

At the opening ceremony, the organising borad announced winners of a photo contest exploring the beauty of Dien Bien.-VNA