Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Lao counterpart Somsavath Lengsavad have co-chaired the 34th session of the Vietnam-Laos Intergovernmental Committee on socio-economic, scientific and technological cooperation in Vientiane, Laos.

At the five-day session that wrapped up on Jan. 7, both sides reviewed the implementation of agreements on socio-economic, scientific and technological cooperation signed in 2011.

In 2011, Vietnam and Laos boosted cooperation in education and training, closely coordinated at multilateral forums and reached high consensus on international and regional issues. Both countries have collaborated in implementing the Vietnamese-funded projects in Laos.

In addition, the two countries’ ministries, branches and localities also increased the exchange of experiences in culture, sports, museums and other fields.

Both sides agreed to effectively implement the statements and agreements reached between the two countries and hosting the Year of Vietnam-Laos Friendship and Solidarity in 2012.

They were unanimous in popularising the project on the history of Vietnam-Laos special ties, increasing the exchange of information and jointly implementing commitments in cooperation programmes within the multilateral cooperation framework, including ASEAN, the Greater Mekong Sub-Region (GMS) and the East West Economic Corridor (EWEC).

The two sides also agreed to soon sign a new investment protection and encouragement agreement this year to replace the one issued in 1996.

Both sides decided to focus on implementing the two countries’ trade development scheme for 2008-2015 period, complete the building of the Vietnam-Laos border trade development master plan and coordinate with Cambodia to soon sign the tripartite road transport agreement.

Later the same day, Deputy PM Phuc and his Lao counterpart Somsavath Lengsavad signed the minutes of the session and a cooperation agreement in 2012./.