At the VIETLAO EXPO 2019 (Source: VNA)

Vientiane (VNA) - The Vietnam-Laos trade fair (VIETLAO EXPO 2019) kicked off at the Lao International Trade Exhibition and Convention Centre (Lao-ITECC) in Vientiane on June 27.

Addressing the event, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Cao Quoc Hung highlighted the flourishing economic-trade cooperation between the two countries in recent years.

Hung stressed the need to expand industry and trade linkage, saying that the two countries should focus on implementing their signed commitments and trade agreements, and promoting the development of traffic and trade infrastructure.

The two countries’ ministries of industry and trade agreed to jointly build a project on Vietnam-Laos trade development in 2017-2026, with a vision to 2035; and signed a memorandum of understanding on establishing a website on Vietnam-Laos economic and trade cooperation, he noted.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade approved a master plan to develop the Vietnam – Laos border market network by 2020 and a project to develop warehouses at border gates of Vietnam - Laos to 2025, with a vision to 2035, Hung said, adding that these are important to further strengthen the bilateral trade ties.

In his speech, Lao Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Phanhthong Phitthoumma affirmed the annual VIETLAO EXPO has contributed to enhancing comprehensive cooperation as well as economic and trade bond between the two nations.

It also helps expand exchange of goods between the two sides, and introduce their brand names and products, and serves as a venue for Vietnamese and Laos enterprises to seek partners, he said.  

The Vietnam-Laos trade turnover in 2018 hit approximately 1.1 billion USD, up 16 percent from the previous year. In the first four months of 2019, the two-way trade reached 381.8 million USD, up 10.95 percent year on year.

This year’s event features 240 booths from 180 enterprises of the two nations.

Vietnamese firms are mainly exhibiting pharmaceutical products and medical equipment; industrial machinery, construction material, agro-forestry-aquaculture products, textiles, handicrafts and decorations, plastic and consumer goods.

Through the event, Vietnam looks to foster export of goods to Laos and the northeast region of Thailand.

The expo will last until July 1.-VNA