Last updated: Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Effectively Carrying Out Vietnam-Laos Cooperation PlansPosted: Friday, February 24, 2017
2017 will be the Year of Vietnam-Laos Solidarity and Friendship, the 55th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations and the 40th anniversary of signing the Treaty on Amity and Cooperation. In the context of the expansive cooperation and comprehensive relationship between the two countries, the Prime Ministers of the two countries for the first time co-chaired the Meeting of the Vietnam-Laos Intergovernmental Committee in February 2017. This clearly evidenced the strong determination of the two governments to effectively carry out cooperation plans.
Diplomatic relations of solidarity, friendship, commitment and trust
In February 2017, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith for the first time co-chaired the 39th Meeting of the Vietnam-Laos Intergovernmental Committee. Contents of discussion are important to concretise cooperation agreements to enable ministries, branches, localities and businesses of the two countries to carry out future cooperation activities more favourably.
In 2016, the two governments effectively executed high-level agreements in politics, foreign affairs, defence, security, economy, society and culture. People-to-people exchange was enhanced and broadened.
The two sides actively helped each other, especially in border-sharing localities, particularly in infrastructure construction, healthcare, human resources training and development, public order and safety in the border region.
Health cooperation continued to grow, particularly in bordering provinces. Vietnam recently started construction on two new hospitals, one worth US$20 million in Huaphan province and another worth US$17.6 million in Xieng Khouang province. Education and training cooperation was also boosted. At present, 14,000 Lao students are studying in Vietnam.
Opening heart to heart
However, some investment projects of Vietnam were slowly deployed, partly because of financial shortages of Vietnamese investors and time-consuming procedural works in Laos.
“Let us open up our hearts to each other,” said Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith at the Meeting of the Vietnam-Laos Intergovernmental Committee. Therefore, concerns about investment cooperation in such projects as an airport invested by Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group, Xecaman 3 hydropower project and potassium salt production project were discussed and settled at the meeting. Investment cooperation plans like Vung Ang Port (Ha Tinh province - Vietnam), Hanoi - Vientiane Highway, Vientiane - Vung Ang Railway and Hon La - Khamuon oil pipeline were also debated.
New drives for Vietnam-Laos cooperation
Regarding investment cooperation in the coming time, the two sides agreed to focus on enhancing relations in the politics, foreign affairs, defence and security, investment, and trade. Both nations will expand trade value by 10 per cent in 2016, expand cooperation in training human resources, boost investment in transportation infrastructure connecting the two countries, and deepen cooperation in sustainable management and use of water and natural resources.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said, “With the motto of taking action and enabling development, after this meeting, the Government of Vietnam will firmly direct ministries, branches, localities, enterprises and relevant units to closely coordinate with Lao partners to immediately deploy and effectively implement commitments reached at the meeting.”
The two Prime Ministers figured out orientations to successfully organise the Year of Vietnam -Laos Friendship and Solidarity in 2017; celebrate the 55th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties and the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation.
Vietnam high-level visits to Laos from 2007 to the present:
Laos high-level visits to Vietnam from 2007 to the present:
- National Assembly Chairwoman Pany Yathotou visited Vietnam in August 2011, April 2012 and March 2015 and attended the 132nd Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly (IPU-132) in March 2015. In January 2016, she attended the 70th Anniversary of Vietnam General Election (January 6, 1946-January 6, 2016)