Vietnam and Laos expect their trade turnover to reach 1 billion USD this year.

Lao Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavat made the announcement at a Vietnam-Laos business seminar in Hanoi on April 26.

Lengsavat said he highly values, Vietnam 's active contribution to Laos ' socio-economic development, which, he said, created jobs and boosted the State budget.

He hoped that businesses in the two countries will continue to strengthen co-operation in investment and development, as they did over the past 50 years.

He asked the two sides to further co-operate in resolving difficulties encountered by firms doing business in the two countries.

Speaking at the seminar, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc urged the two countries to promote ways to support businesses, while regularly organising talks between the Government and enterprises to complete agreements on trade and investment.

Phuc also said the two sides need to focus on projects that involve energy, agricultural development and processing, exploitation and trade.

Statistics from the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment showed that Vietnam has 206 investment projects in Laos , with a total registered capital of 34 billion USD.

The Vietnam Association of Investors in Laos said Vietnamese projects in Laos are bring implemented strictly and have contributed significantly to Laos ' economy. Most worthy of note are the Laos-Viet Joint Venture Bank, Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group's rubber projects.-VNA