Vietnamese, Lao PMs co-chair meeting of inter-governmental committee hinh anh 1At the meeting (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Lao counterpart Thongloun Sisoulith co-chaired the 41st session of the Vietnam-Laos Inter-Governmental Committee in Hanoi on January 6.

PM Phuc expressed his delight at the positive development of traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Laos in diverse areas over the recent past.

PM Sisoulith, for his part, believed that the meeting will create a new driving force for the practical and effective development of bilateral ties.

Both sides were satisfied with the outcomes of cooperation between the two governments in 2018, especially in politics, external affairs, national defence-security, social safety and order.

Over 400 projects worth about 4.1 billion USD by Vietnamese firms contributed to Laos’ socio-economic development. Two-way trade between the two nations exceeded the 1 billion USD benchmark in 2018, up 14 percent year-on-year.

Several strategic transportation connectivity projects are underway while the number of Vietnamese scholarships to Lao students keeps increasing, helping to raise the total number of Lao students in Vietnam to more than 14,200 so far.

Both sides reached consensus on cooperation orientations for 2019, which lay the focus on collaboration across the fields of politics, foreign affairs, defence, and security.

Regarding economic ties, the two countries will exchange experiences in building policies to stabilise the macro-economy and promote sustainable development. Also, they will work together to create business conditions for companies in each nation to reach 10 percent growth in two-way trade this year.

Meanwhile, improving the quality of education-training cooperation will be prioritised, of which historical works highlighting the special relations between the two countries will be put into curriculums at both Vietnamese and Cambodian schools.

In addition, competent ministries, sectors and localities will foster the practical and effective cooperation in culture, science, society, communications, sport, healthcare, and legislation, among others.

In the spirit of special trust, the two sides agreed to continue close coordination and mutual support at regional and international forums. The two countries will accompany each other to deepen the cooperative progress of the ASEAN Community, and enhance the ASEAN’s role in strategic issues of the region, including the East Sea matter.

Furthermore, they were unanimous on cooperation in effectively and sustainably using water resources in the Mekong river.

Laos affirmed to back Vietnam’s candidacy for a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council in the 2020-2021 tenure.

PM Phuc stressed that right after the session, the Vietnamese Government will direct relevant ministries, sectors, localities, enterprises and units to closely collaborate with their Lao counterparts to immediately and effectively implement the just-made decisions.
Vietnamese, Lao PMs co-chair meeting of inter-governmental committee hinh anh 2Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Lao counterpart Thongloun Sisoulith witness the signing of cooperation agreements at the meeting (Source: VNA)
Following the session, the two PMs witnessed the signing and exchange of six documents, including an agreement on the cooperation plan between the two governments in 2019, the minutes of the session, an agreement on the Vietnamese Government’s provision of 300 tonnes of rice seeds to the Lao Government, an agreement on the educational cooperation plan for 2019, the minutes on the transfer of the radio-TV station in Laos’ province of Savanakhet, and the minutes on the transfer of the Vietnamese-language faculty project at the Suphanouvong University and the Champasak University.-VNA