Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City’s People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong (R) and a Lao representative. (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – Ho Chi Minh City will do its utmost to strengthen the partnership with Lao localities and ministries and agencies, for their success is the city’s success, said Chairman of the city’s People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong on January 24.

The city respects ties with Laos, Phong reiterated when receiving Lao senior officials from Vientiane, Attapeu, Savannakhet and Khammuane who are visiting the city for the Laos Goods Week in District 1.

The trade fair not only brings Laos’ signature products to consumers in HCM City but also provides a platform for businesses from the two sides to expand cooperation, he noted.

The city’s support for the hosting of the Laos Goods Week demonstrates its determination to deepen economic-trade ties with Lao localities, contributing to the long-standing ties between the two States, Parties and peoples, he said.

The Lao side thanked HCM City for its support to the fair and affirmed that Lao localities are ready to cooperate with Vietnam’s southern economic hub in all fields.

The first Laos Goods Week in HCM City is running from January 24 to 28 with more than 150 booths set up by Lao businesses, Vietnamese businesses operating there and city-based ones that trade with Laos.

There will be 139 Lao products, including rice, sticky rice, dried beef, tea, coffee, fruits and vegetables, wooden products, handicrafts and souvenirs.

Trade between Laos and Vietnam topped 900 million USD last year, a year-on-year increase of over 10 per cent. The two countries have set a target of 4 billion USD by 2020.

Vietnamese companies have invested 5 billion USD in 276 projects in Laos, mainly in energy, services, infrastructure, mining, agriculture and forestry.-VNA