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Int'l Cooperation

Last updated: Friday, July 21, 2017

 

Effectively Carrying Out Vietnam-Laos Cooperation Plans

Posted: 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
The bilateral relationship has been increasingly close and trustful, developing and deepening in the past 55 years. The two sides have strong consensus at regional and international cooperation forums, thus contributing to the development of each country and maintaining peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.

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
In 2016, Vietnam was the third biggest investor in Laos. Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said that Vietnamese businesses have invested US$3.7 billion in 408 projects in Laos. In 2016, some projects were put into operation, including Xecaman 1 hydropower plant and Muong Thanh - Vientiane Hotel.
“Vietnam’s investment in Laos continued to increase and positively enabled Laos’s socioeconomic growth and employment,” he said.

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
After the meeting, the two sides inked four documents, including an agreement on cooperation plan between the two governments in 2017; the minutes of the 39th meeting of the Vietnam-Laos Intergovernmental Committee; a cooperative plan between the Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training and the Lao Ministry of Education and Sports; and the minutes on the establishment of a joint venture on the Laos - Vietnam 500 kV electricity transmission line construction project. 

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:
- Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong paid an official visit to Laos in June 2011. He attended Laos New Year in April 2014.
- Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong officially visited Laos in November 2016.
- President Nguyen Minh Triet paid an official visit to Laos in February 2007
- President Truong Tan Sang officially visited Laos in February 2012 . He conducted an internal visit in November 2013 and working visit to Laos in March 2015.
- President Tran Dai Quang formally visited Laos in June 2016.
- Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung visited Laos for the second time in September 2011 and the third time in November 2012. He conducted an internal visit in March 2013. He attended the 8th Summit of the Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam (CLV) Development Triangle Area (CLV 8) in November 2014.
- Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc officially visited Laos in September 2016 and attended the ASEAN Summit.
- National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Phu Trong officially visited Laos in April 2007.
- National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung paid working visits to Laos in July 2012 and October 2012.
- National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan paid an official visit to Laos in September 2016.

Laos high-level visits to Vietnam from 2007 to the present:
- General Secretary and President Choummaly Sayasone paid the second official visit to Vietnam in September 2011 and the third visit in December 2012. In October 2013, he paid a tribute to General Vo Nguyen Giap. In August 2014, he visited Vietnam internally.
- General Secretary and President Bounnhang Volachith paid an official visit to Vietnam in April 2016.
- Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong officially visited Vietnam in March 2011, February 2012 and July 2013. He had an internal visit in March 2014, attended the second Mekong River Commission (MRC) Summit in April 2014. He paid an official visit to Vietnam in July 2015.
- Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith paid an official visit to Vietnam in May 2016. He attended the 39th Meeting of the Vietnam-Laos Intergovernmental Committee in February 2017.

- 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)

Nguyen Thanh








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