Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh (Source: VNA) 

Vientiane (VNA) – The ministries of industry and trade of Vietnam and Laos co-organised a forum in Vientiane on December 19 to seek ways to improve bilateral trade, which is estimated at 900 million USD in 2017, up 10 percent year on year.

Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh said after a period of decline in 2015-2016, Vietnam-Laos trade regained momentum this year and met the target of 10-percent increase as set by leaders of the two countries.

Lao Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Bounmy Manivong said the forum aims to provide a chance for the two sides to review relevant documents reached during the past time and look for measures to remove outstanding problems and obstacles in bilateral trade and investment cooperation.

Speakers presented their assessments about the current trade relations, pinpointed problems in trade and trade-related investment activities between the two countries, particularly those related to mechanisms and administrative procedures.

Current bilateral cooperative mechanisms also came under spotlight, with the aim of improving them to support the business communities of both countries to enhance production and export capacity.

Participants compared notes on the good and bad points of the One stop shop model at border gates with a view to facilitating border trade.

Another issue of interest on the agenda was the direction and solutions for the trade of electricity between Vietnam and Laos.

The forum attracted the participation of industry and trade officials of the two countries, and representatives from Vietnamese and Lao economic groups and firms.-VNA