Leaders of Vietnam’s central Thanh Hoa province and Huaphan province of Laos met on March 29 to review last year’s cooperation results and sign an agreement on cooperation for 2012.

Under the agreement, this year the two provinces will organise a number of cultural exchange activities marking the 50 th anniversary of Vietnam-Laos diplomatic ties (1962-2012) and 35 years of the signing of the Vietnam-Lao Friendship and Cooperation Treaty (1977-2012).

The two localities will create favourable conditions for their individuals, organisations and economic sectors to expand cooperation projects and goods exchange activities serving both sides’ socio-economic development.

Thanh Hoa pledged to train more university and college students for Huaphan while the Lao province will help train Thanh Hoa officials in Lao language.

The two sides will promote Thanh Hoa-Huaphan tours to attract tourists from third countries who go through the Na Meo-Nam Xoi international border gate.

The two sides also agreed on measures to strengthen cooperation in the security and defence sector, especially in fighting cross-border crimes, as well as continue working together in searching and repatriating the remains of Vietnamese voluntary soldiers and experts who died in Laos.

This year, Thanh Hoa will provide 15 billion VND for Huaphan to build its politics and public administration school.

Two-way trade through border gates between Thanh Hoa and Huaphan provinces exceeded 9.2 million USD in 2011. Thanh Hoa province trained 67 university and college students from Huaphan and provided free medical check-ups and treatment for over 1,500 people in the Lao province.-VNA