President Truong Tan Sang and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has affirmed visiting Lao President Choummaly Sayasone that Vietnam always treasures and gives the highest priority to consolidating and fostering the traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation with Laos.

President Sang said at a meeting with General Secretary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) and President of Laos Choummaly Sayasone in Hanoi on December 26 that his visit is an important political event taking place during the 2012 Vietnam – Laos , Laos – Vietnam Solidarity and Friendship Year.

He added that activities held by both sides during the year give the two nations’ young generations an insight into the close bilateral relations, which would help them increase their awareness of cementing the ties.

President Sayasone expressed his delight to visit Vietnam and highly appreciated cooperation results in all fields gained by the two countries over the past time, particularly the 2012 Solidarity and Friendship Year. He vowed his country’s efforts with the Vietnamese side to further enhance bilateral relations.

During a separate meeting, Prime Minister Dung hailed the success of the 2012 Solidarity and Friendship Year, which according to him, has become an important milestone in the history of the two countries’ relations.

The Government leader said he believes under the leadership of the LPRP Central Committee led by Sayasone, the Lao people will continue to achieve greater achievements, successfully implementing the Resolution of the LPRP’s 11 th National Congress and the seventh five-year socio-economic development plan.

Sayasone said he believes under the leadership of the two Governments, comprehensive cooperation between the two nations will develop broadly, which will contribute to successfully realising goals of cooperation and development plans set by the two countries.

Both Sayasone and Dung pledged to do their utmost to develop the traditional, friendly, cooperative and comprehensive relations in various fields.

While meeting with National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung the same day, the two sides highly valued cooperation between the two legislative bodies over the past time. Sayasone thanked the Vietnamese National Assembly for helping Laos successfully host the seventh Asia – Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting.

They pledged to exert themselves to deepen the traditional ties between the two legislatures and peoples in a more comprehensive manner in the time to come.

Also the on same day, Sayasone chaired a ceremony to award Laos ’ National Gold Orders to President Sang, NA Chairman Hung and the Freedom Orders to 21 incumbent and former Vietnamese leaders.

He also visited the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV), a member of the Association of Vietnamese Investors in Laos (AVIL).

Addressing the event, the Lao leader praised Vietnamese investors for their positive contributions during Laos ’ economic development. He vowed to facilitate Vietnam ’s investment projects in the near future and discuss ways with relevant sides to improve the efficiency of cooperation, especially capital efficiency.

BIDV Chairman Tran Bac Ha, who is also AVIL President, said two-way trade between the two countries topped 900 million USD, a year-on-year rise of 22 percent. This figure is expected to hit 2 billion USD by 2015.

Vietnam now ranks third out of 52 countries worldwide investing in Laos . The Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment has so far granted licenses to 22 projects worth nearly 3.8 billion USD in the country, he added.-VNA