Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on March 14 paid a working visit to the northern Lao province of Xieng Khouang, which borders Vietnam’s central province of Nghe An.

While meeting with key provincial leaders, Dung highly valued the all-around cooperation between Xieng Khouang and Vietnamese localities like Son La and Nghe An over the past time.

Dung thanked the provincial authorities and people for standing side-by-side with Vietnam during the war and current development, which according to him, mirrors the traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries.

He also thanked them for assisting Vietnam in searching and bringing home the remains of over 15,000 Vietnamese voluntary soldiers, adding that he hopes they will soon repatriate the remains of more than 1,000 other soldiers to Vietnam.

The provincial chief Somkok Mangnomek pledged to make it easier for Vietnamese firms to invest in the province, contributing to local socio-economic development.

On the occasion, Dung and his Lao counterpart Thoosing Thammavong chaired a seminar on promoting Vietnamese investment in northern Lao provinces.

Addressing the event, Dung vowed to do his utmost, together with the Vietnamese Party and State, to further boost links between the two nations, especially in economics and trade between their border localities.

The Vietnamese Government always encourages and creates all possible favourable conditions for businesses to invest in Laos, particularly in Xieng Khouang, Dung said.

He suggested the province assist Vietnamese firms to access its country’s potential in tourism, agro-forestry, minerals and hydropower, and at the same time enhance cooperation with Vietnamese localities to maintain a border of peace and friendship for socio-economic development.

For stronger bilateral trade and investment, the two Governments will perfect cooperation agreements, mechanisms and policies, especially preferential incentives, and hold regular dialogues to share information, attract new investment projects, and speed up the progress of existing projects, Dung said.

He asked the Vietnamese enterprises to ensure the quality and progress of projects, strictly observe law, contribute to social welfare, create jobs and help protect the environment in the host country.

The two leaders requested the two countries’ relevant agencies to seek funds to build a 260 km road linking Xieng Khouang and Thanh Hoa province - Vietnam ’s economic, industrial and trade hub that houses a deep-water port and an international airport – and connect to nine northern Lao provinces with a population of 2.6 million.

Dung also witnessed a ceremony to grant investment certificates of the Lao Government to Vietnamese investors, and received leaders of the Vietnam–Laos Corporation and overseas Vietnamese in the locality.-VNA