Vietnam-Laos investment cooperation thrives hinh anh 1Vietnam's trade fair in Laos (Photo: 

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam and Laos have enjoyed thriving relations in economics, trade and investment with annual average growth of 20 percent over the past five years.

At a recent dialogue with Vietnamese businesses in Vientiane, Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith spoke highly of their investments, which are contributing to Laos’ socio-economic development.

He pledged to create the best conditions for Vietnamese investors to operate in the country.

Vietnam is the third largest investor of Laos, while Laos attracts the most investment from Vietnam among 64 countries and territories where Vietnamese businesses are investing in.

According to the Vietnam Business Association in Laos, which was established in 2010 with over 300 members at present, Vietnam’s direct investment in Laos constantly increased from 2011-2015 in the number of projects and registered capital.

As of September, Vietnam had 266 licensed investment projects worth 5.1 billion USD in Laos, 1.3 times the number of projects and 1.26 times the total investment capital in 2011.

While operating in Laos, Vietnamese enterprises have abided by Lao State law, paid tax to the Lao State budget and generated jobs for tens of thousands of locals.

Vietnamese investment projects have contributed to increasing the Lao Government’s budget collection by 240-260 million USD per year, while creating 35,000 jobs. The figures are expected to reach 350-400 million USD and 45,000, respectively, in 2017.

The signing of the Vietnam – Laos border trade agreement last June served as an important legal tool to drive two-way trade forward.

The Lao Prime Minister called on Vietnamese businesses to invest in Laos to bring mutual benefits.

The birth of the ASEAN Community in 2015 along with the development of the sub-Mekong regional transport corridors and economic connectivity has opened up new horizons for the two countries’ cooperation in investment.-VNA