Hanoi (VNA) – Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen
Chi Dung held talks with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Planning and Investment of Laos Sonsay Siphandone in Hanoi on December 23 to review cooperation between the two ministries over the past years and seek ways to boost ties next year. 

Dung told his guest that Vietnam’s export is projected at 500 billion USD this year.

Hailing new progress in coordination between the two ministries, he said both sides have facilitated visits by officials and held a conference in June 2019 to share professional expertise.

The Vietnamese side will offer all possible support to share experience at the ministry and even to the department level with Lao counterparts, he said.

Siphandone, for his part, suggested focusing on signed agreements and providing training for Lao officials at departments and localities.

He expressed hope that ties between the two ministries will be further deepened, thus improving the quality of consultation to the two Governments.

Two-way trade between Vietnam and Laos topped 1 billion USD last year. The eight-month figure was 748 million USD, up 14.2 percent annually. Vietnam’s exports to Laos reached 405 million USD during the period, up around 18.8 percent while imports neared 260 million USD, marking a 5.2 percent increase from the same period last year.

Vietnam remains the third largest foreign investor in Laos. According to the Lao Ministry of Planning and Investment, Vietnam invested in 411 projects with a total registered capital of 4.22 billion USD in Laos as of June 2019, mostly in hydropower, mining, services, agriculture and telecommunications.

The Vietnamese associations have so far been established in 12 out of the 18 Lao cities and provinces./.