Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and his Laotian counterpart Sonexay Siphandone had talks in Vientiane on Wednesday to further bolster bilateral relations between the two nations, following which the two leaders witnessed the signing of 10 cooperative agreements.
The talks began right after the welcome ceremony held for visiting PM Chinh who had arrived in Laos’ capital earlier the same day for a two-day official visit to Laos at the invitation of PM Siphandone.
Vietnam’s government leader congratulated Laos on its successes in COVID-19 pandemic containment and socio-economic recovery and development, and expressed his belief that Laos will overcome difficulties and continue to successfully implement its 9th socio-economic development plan, the Vietnamese Government Portal reported.
PM Chinh expressed gratitude to the Party, state, and people of Laos for their wholehearted support and assistance to Vietnam.
PM Sonexay highlighted the significance of the visit by Chinh as the first foreign leader to visit Laos in 2023, right after he assumed the post of head of the Laotian government.
He thanked Vietnam for the support that Vietnam has given Laos in its struggle for national independence in the past as well as in its national construction, defense and development presently.
He highly valued Vietnam’s achievements in driving back COVID-19, speeding up post-pandemic economic recovery and development, and gaining a higher role and position in the region and the world.
The host and the guest agreed to give the highest priority to the reinforcement and development of the great friendship, special solidarity, and comprehensive cooperation between the two nations.
They shared pleasure at the fruitful bilateral ties in all fields over the years, including the recent success of hundreds of meaningful activities during the 'Year of Friendship and Solidarity between Vietnam - Laos, Laos - Vietnam 2022' in both countries, which celebrated their 60th year of diplomatic relations last year.
In 2022, Vietnamese investors launched five new projects and increased investment in four existing ones, registering a total investment of US$70 million, up around 50 percent from 2021, according to the Vietnam News Agency.
Last year also saw two-way trade reach nearly $1.7 billion, an increase of more than 21 percent compared to 2021, exceeding the growth target of 10-15 percent previously set.
The two leaders agreed to make efforts to successfully implement the strategic agreement on cooperation between Vietnam and Laos for the 2021-30 period, the bilateral cooperation agreement between Vietnam and Laos from 2021 to 2023, and other agreements.
The two sides agreed to maintain a stable trade growth rate of 10-15 percent per year or more, and at the same time promote cooperation in the field of information and communications.
They pledged to boost their coordination, information exchange, and mutual support at regional and international multilateral forums, particularly at the United Nations, ASEAN, and sub-regional cooperation mechanisms.
PM Chinh affirmed that Vietnam is ready to assist Laos in performing international tasks in the coming time, including the role as the chair of ASEAN and the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) in 2024.
He invited PM Sonexay to visit Vietnam at an early date and his Laotian counterpart accepted the invitation with pleasure.
Immediately after their talks, the two PMs witnessed the signing ceremony for 10 cooperative documents.
Among the deals are those on digital partnership between the two governments, on mutual legal assistance between Vietnam and Laos, on waterway transportation between the two transport ministries, and on cooperation between the two foreign ministries in training in foreign affairs and international integration for Laos’ officials.
They include a protocol on training cooperation between the two governments for the 2022-27 period, and the 2023 cooperation plan between the Ministry of Education and Training of Vietnam and the Ministry of Education and Sports of Laos.
Also being signed were four memoranda of understanding on cooperation in finance, health, and economic diplomacy consultation, and on the friendly relationship between Vietnam’s Quang Tri Province and Laos’ Champasak Province.