Vietnam-Laos Inter-Governmental Committee holds 43rd meeting hinh anh 1Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) welcomes his Lao counterpart Thongloun Sisoulith (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) –  Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Lao counterpart Thongloun Sisoulith co-chaired the 43rd meeting of the Vietnam-Lao Inter-Governmental Committee on bilateral cooperation in Hanoi on December 6.

PM Phuc underlined that despite complicated and unpredictable developments in the region and the world, especially the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the two countries have maintained high-level meetings and visits as well as important bilateral cooperation mechanisms and mutual support in pandemic prevention and control, which demonstrated the joint efforts and determination of both sides in developing their special bilateral ties.

He congratulated the Lao Government on important achievements in socio-economic development over the years, especially in effectively controlling COVID-19 and maintaining relatively high growth as well as successfully hosting sub-regional cooperation events, contributing to enhance the country’s position in the region.

The Vietnamese PM thanked the Lao side for coordinating closely with Vietnam in preventing COVID-19, assisting flood-hit people in the central region of Vietnam, and supporting the country in performing the roles of ASEAN Chair in 2020 and non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in the 2020-2021 tenure.

For his part, Lao PM Thongloun Sisoulith lauded Vietnam’s success in implementing the twin targets of controlling the COVID-19 pandemic and boosting socio-economic development at the same time, thus emerging as a bright spot in the global economy.

He congratulated Vietnam on successfully performing the role of ASEAN Chair in 2020 with many important initiatives to foster regional solidarity and cooperation. He highlighted the approval of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework and the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which he said affirmed the important role and position of Vietnam in the world arena.

The Lao PM thanked the Party, State and people of Vietnam for helping Laos overcome the consequences of natural disasters and the pandemic by providing Laos with 1,000 tonnes of rice to the flood-hit Savannakhet province.

The two sides showed their delight at the fruitful cooperation between the two countries, with the fulfillment of many targets set in the Vietnam-Laos cooperation plan for 2020 and the Vietnam-Laos bilateral cooperation agreement for the 2016-2020 period.

They noted that bilateral political-diplomatic relations have been strengthened, playing the central and directing role in the overall partnership of the two sides, while the defence-security cooperation has continued to be the key pillar contributing to maintaining the political stability, order and social security in each country.

In terms of economic collaboration, Vietnam has maintained the position of the third largest investor in Laos with accumulated registered investment capital of over 4.2 billion USD, up 35 percent over the amount recorded in 2010. In 2020, Vietnam invested more than 143 million USD in Laos, a year-on-year rise of 130 percent.

Two-way trade in the 2017-2019 period grew by over 10 percent each year. Meanwhile, education-training collaboration has continued to be promoted with 16,644 Lao students studying in Vietnam.

At the same time, power trading between the two sides in 2020 has doubled compared to the plan signed in 2016.

Cultural cooperation and people-to-people exchange has been enhanced, with the two sides working together to organise major events and celebrations of each other’s anniversaries, they noted, adding that many bilateral cooperation projects have seen key progress in 2020, including the Vung Ang port, Noong-khang airport, and the National Assembly building of Laos – a gift from the Party, State and people of Vietnam to Laos, which is slated to complete in 2021.  

The two sides agreed on the cooperation orientations for 2021 and the next five and 10 years, with focus on the effective implementation of agreements between the two sides, including the Vietnam-Laos cooperation plan for 2021 and the cooperation deals signed on this occasion.

They sketched out many drastic and practical measures to continue deepening the bilateral political and diplomatic ties, strengthening bilateral defence-security cooperation and prioritizing education-training collaboration.

Both sides will work to promote economic cooperation and improve the connectivity between the two economies, especially linkages in transport, infrastructure and telecommunications. They will encourage ministries, sectors localities, businesses and people of both sides to expand cooperation and mutual support.

At the same time, the two countries will work together to mobilise resources from international partners for joint projects and programmes.

The two sides vowed to continue coordinating closely with and support each other at regional and international forums, especially within the ASEAN, the Mekong Sub-region cooperation mechanisms and the United Nations.

The two countries will strengthen mutual consultations and assistance to enhance their position and national self-reliance, especially in issues related to security and strategy in the region, including the East Sea and Mekong issues. They pledged to work with other ASEAN countries to effectively cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, promoting intra-bloc solidarity and the central role of the ASEAN as well as the building of ASEAN Community.

Concluding the meeting, the two PMs pledged to direct ministries, sectors, localities and relevant agencies of the two sides to work together to effectively implement bilateral agreements and commitments, including the creation of optimal conditions for businesses of both sides to cooperate in investment and production.

Both sides showed their belief that the success of the meeting will create a new momentum for bilateral cooperation, making it deeper and more practical with higher trust, contributing to reinforcing the great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Laos in the next decades./.
 
VNA