The 2014 Vietnam – Laos Trade Fair kicked off in Vientiane, Laos, on July 3 with the aim of helping Vietnamese businesses expand the distribution network here, paving the way for their goods to Thailand’s northeastern region.

Among those attending the opening were Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Cam Tu and his Lao counterpart Siaosavath Savengseuksa.

During the five-day event, some 100 Vietnamese enterprises show their products at 120 out of the total 200 booths.

This year’s fair is said to be larger than previous events and gather a wider range of goods, from agro-forestry-fishery products, garments and electrical and electronic appliances to industrial machinery, medical equipment, and tourism services.

It is expected to bridge Vietnamese and Lao business insiders so that they can share experience, transfer technology and form closer partnership.

In 2013, trade turnover between both countries hit a record high of 1 billion USD.

The figure reached 766 million USD in the first half of 2014, up 51 percent from a year earlier.-VNA