The cooperation sub-committees of Vietnam and Laos convened a mid-term meeting in Luang Prabang, Laos, from August 6-12 to review the two countries’ cooperation in the first six months of this year .

The session on August 12 was attended by Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Deputy Prime Minister and Head of the Vietnam-Laos cooperation sub-committee, and Somsavad Lengsavath, Deputy Prime Minister and Head of the Laos-Vietnam sub-committee .

The two sides highly valued the close cooperation between agencies and local governments at all levels, in organising activities celebrating the Vietnam-Laos Friendship Year.

They also noted the expanding cooperation in defence-security, education and human resource training, as well as the smooth coordination between the two countries at multi-lateral forums.

Regarding economic ties, by June this year, Vietnamese businesses had invested in 435 projects worth 5.2 billion USD in Laos .

Import-export turnover between the two countries reached almost 466 million USD in the period from January to June, an increase of 33 percent year on year. The figure is expected to reach 1 billion USD for the entire 2012.

In the remaining months of this year, the two sides plan to organise negotiation teams for a new agreement on investment encouragement and protection. The two countries will also continue to carry out effectively the project on bilateral trade development for the 2008-2015.

At the meeting, the two Deputy Prime Ministers witnessed the signing of the meeting’s minute, an agreement on pilot implementation of Vietnamese Government-financed projects, and a deal on exploring lead and zinc ores in Xieng Khouang.

As part of his visit to Laos , Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on August 11 made a tour of the Luông Phabang Senior High School , which is under construction as a gift of former Vietnamese Party General Secretary Nong Duc Manh, to Luang Prabang province.

Work on the school started last November and is expected to complete this December to mark the Vietnam-Laos Friendship Year 2012.

Also the same day, Phuc visited the Royal Palace and Phanom village, which specialises in producing traditional brocade and silver products.-VNA