Vietnam, Laos should further enhance ties in key areas: minister hinh anh 1The talks between the Vietnamese and Laos Ministries of Planning and Investment in Vientiane on March 21 (Photo:
Vientiane (VNA) – Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung, head of the Vietnam - Laos Cooperation Committee, called for the countries’ stronger connections in key areas during talks with his counterpart Khamjane Vongphosy, who is also head of the Laos - Vietnam Cooperation Committee, in Vientiane on March 21.

Minister Dung, who is paying a working visit to Laos from March 21 to 23, said despite the complex economic, political, and COVID-19 situation in the world, the two countries’ high-level joint statements and agreements have still been carried out well from central to local levels.

Vietnamese businesses have invested about 5.3 billion USD in 214 projects in Laos, ranking third among foreign investors here, following China and Thailand. They poured 64.3 million USD into one new project and two existing ones in Laos in the first two months of 2022.

During the two months, bilateral trade reached 243.2 million USD, up 15.39 percent year on year. That consists of 75.74 million USD in Vietnam’s exports to and 167.46 million USD in imports from Laos, respectively dropping 21.94 percent and rising 47.9 percent.

Notably, Vietnam has earmarked 733 billion VND (32 million USD) in non-refundable aid for Laos this year, Dung noted.

He described the abovementioned outcomes as highly positive but also pointed out many difficulties, including problems in the implementation of a plan on connecting the two economies, some projects lagging behind schedule, and bilateral trade yet to match the two sides’ potential and strength.

Speaking highly of bilateral cooperation in the recent past, Minister Vongphosy expressed his belief that their ministries and the two cooperation committees will keep close coordination to deserve their role as the capable advisory bodies of the two Parties and governments, helping the Laos - Vietnam investment partnership make new breakthroughs.

Minister Dung reaffirmed Vietnam’s consistent policy of giving the top priority to maintaining and developing the countries’ special relations, and considering this a priceless asset that is vital to each nation’s revolution.

In the time ahead, Vietnam and Laos should continue bringing into play the bilateral cooperation mechanisms, especially the annual meeting between the two Politburos and sessions of the Inter-Governmental Committee; work together to fruitfully carry out the agreements reached at the 44th meeting of the Inter-Governmental Committee; and promote their ministries, sectors, and localities’ effective implementation of the signed deals to mark the 60th founding anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties and 45 years since the signing of the Vietnam - Laos Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation in 2022.

It is also necessary to further improve cooperation in key areas, including defence, security, trade, investment, transport connectivity, education - training, locality-to-locality ties, and people-to-people exchange, according to the Vietnamese official.

Regarding Vietnam’s direct investment projects in Laos, Dung asked the Lao ministry to further create optimal conditions and propose the Lao government issue favourable policies for Vietnamese investors in the country./.