Officials from Vietnam’s central province of Thua Thien-Hue and Laos’s southern Salavan province gathered at a working session in the imperial city of Hue on April 4 to strengthen cooperation, solidarity and friendship between the two localities.

Secretary of the Party Committee of Thua Thien-Hue Nguyen Ngoc Thien and Salavan Governor Khampun Duong Panha agreed that following the success of the 2012 Vietnam-Laos Solidarity and Friendship Year, the pair have continued fostering special bilateral cooperative ties in all fields from foreign affairs, culture and education to defence, border patrols and investment.

Specifically, the Vietnamese province has received 65 students from Laos in the 2013-2014 school year, increasing the number of such learners pursuing academic careers there to 350.

Local authorities have also delegated many medical staff to provide health check-ups and treatment to people residing in shared border areas, and created opportunities for Lao officials to receive medical examinations at provincial hospitals.

Meanwhile, Lao provinces such as Salavan and Sekong have helped Thua Thien-Hue repatriate the remains of many fallen Vietnamese soldiers. During the 2013-2014 dry season, 16 remains were located thanks to 30 information reports provided by Laos.

Both sides have also seen regular trade in agro-forestry-fishery products, apparel, cement, beer, fine arts and handicrafts, while there has also been much investment in the A Dot border economic zone.

They are striving to increase the import-export turnover to around 1 million USD by the end of 2014.-VNA