The National Assemblies (NA) of both Vietnam and Laos will host a joint conference and a range of events on April 23 and 24 as part of celebrations for Vietnam-Laos Friendship and Solidarity Year 2012.

The cooperative ties between the two legislative bodies have been developing both in scale and content, contributing to the comprehensive cooperation and special solidarity between the two countries.

The two legislative bodies have regularly exchanged visits at all levels and stepped up joint activities under the spirit of cooperation agreements that were signed by the leaders of both NAs in April 2007.

In June 2011, Party General Secretary and NA Chairman Nguyen Phu Trong paid an official visit to Laos to confirm the Vietnamese Party, State and people’s aspirations and determination to preserve and uphold this special friendship. It is an invaluable asset for both nations. The year 2011 also saw the exchange of delegations of NA leaders and NA deputies of the two countries as well as joint activities between agencies from both NAs’.

Regarding bilateral relations, the two NAs have worked closely together sharing information and their experiences in law-making and supervisory procedures. In addition, the Vietnamese NA has provided training to raise the capacity of deputies, as well as administrative staff capacity of the Lao NA and has also donated equipment and facilities to Lao NA Office. Vietnam ’s NA also built and presented the Lao NA Office with a new headquarters.

On multilateral relations, the Vietnamese and Lao NAs have collaborated closely in organising inter-parliamentary conferences in Laos , including the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA); the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF) and the ASEAN People’s Forum (APF). The events have helped to build up Laos ’ image and its prestige in the region and the international arena. The Vietnamese NA also helped their Lao counterparts to organise the 26 th conference of the ASEAN Inter-parliamentary Organisation, AIPO-26 in 2005 and the APPF conference in 2009.

Over recent years, bilateral economic, trade and investment ties have continued to thrive. Vietnam ranks the second largest investor in Laos with 424 projects with a value of 3.57 billion USD. Cooperation between provinces from both countries has also been promoted, particularly between Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Ha Tinh, Vientiane, Champassak, and Khammoune.-VNA