Lao Prime Minister pays official visit to Vietnam hinh anh 1Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith (L) begins his official visit to Vietnam on October 1 at the invitation of PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith and his spouse, alongside a high-ranking delegation from the Lao government, begin an official visit to Vietnam from October 1.

The three-day visit is made at the invitation of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
Vietnam and Laos have enjoyed a traditional friendship, special solidarity and thriving partnership in all fields.

Over the past years, political ties between the two countries have been expanded with stronger trust, playing the key role in bilateral relations. The two sides have held regular meetings and delegation exchanges in all channels.

The bilateral partnership in defence, security and external affairs has improved with the close coordination in ensuring political stability, defence and security in each country and building a shared border of peace, stability and development.

Vietnam and Laos have regularly exchanged viewpoints on regional and international issues, while coordinating with and supporting each other at multilateral cooperation forums, especially within the framework of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the United Nations.

Cooperation in economy, culture, education-training and science-technology has also developed.

By December 2018, Vietnam has invested in 409 projects worth 4.1 billion USD in Laos, mostly in hydropower, mining, industrial plant growing and services. Among the completed and operating projects are Xekaman 1 hydropower plant, Muong Thanh Vientiane Hotel, Crown Plaza and Viettel Laos.

The two sides have implemented a new bilateral trade agreement, a border trade deal and a revised protocol on goods transit, among others, while launching the “one door-one stop” at Lao Bao-Densavanh border gate.

Last year, two-way trade between the two countries was valued at about 1 billion USD. Vietnam imported beverages, wood, mineral products and agricultural products from Laos, while exporting oil and gas, fertiliser, steel, machines, electric equipment, construction materials and spare parts to the neighbouring country.

In terms of education and training, the Ministry of Education and Training of Vietnam has handed over Vietnamese language textbooks from 1st to 12th grades to Laos, which is being piloted at Nguyen Du school.

Vietnam has sent Vietnamese teachers to 28 establishments in 11 cities and provinces of Laos, while supporting Laos in designing six education-training works. In 2018, Vietnam granted 1,271 scholarships to Lao officials and students.

Bilateral ties between localities, especially those along the shared border, have also been expanded, especially in infrastructure, healthcare, personnel training, poverty reduction and security./.