Vietnam, Laos work to foster border trade collaboration hinh anh 1Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien (L) and his Lao counterpart Khampheng Xaysompheng co-chair the conference. (Photo: VNA)
Vientiane (VNA) – The 12th Vietnam - Laos border trade development cooperation conference was held in the Lao capital of Vientiane on April 11 under the co-chair of Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien and his Lao counterpart Khampheng Xaysompheng.

Addressing the event, Dien highlighted significant progress in the bilateral trade, especially via the border, since the 11th conference in 2018.

In 2021, Vietnam – Laos trade hit 1.37 billion USD, up 33.3 percent from 2020. Vietnam imported goods worth nearly 780 million USD from Laos, an annual increase of 70 percent, according to the Vietnamese minister.

The results were impressive but yet to be on par with commercial potential of both countries, he noted.

The conference pointed out causes behind the issue such as ineffective policies to attract investment in production, infrastructure, transport, and logistics in border areas; as well as slow construction of infrastructure projects, particularly inter-district roads.  

The two sides agreed with seven cooperation orientations for the time to come.

Accordingly, they will study and propose more effective investment attraction policies; promote the negotiation towards the signing of a memorandum of understanding on border infrastructure development and connection between the Vietnamese and Lao governments. Documents signed between the two nations like the Vietnam – Laos free trade agreement and the 2007 Hanoi Agreement will be reviewed and amended to make them more suitable to the current situation.

The two sides also agreed to facilitate the flow of products into each other's market, particularly farm produce and team up in combating smuggling, commercial frauds, and illegal transportation of goods via the shared border.

Concluding the conference, the two ministers signed the minutes on border trade development cooperation between the two countries as a basis for them to develop and implement tasks in the future./.