Lao Deputy PM's visit to Vietnam: Tightening solidarity and attachment between two Foreign Ministries
|Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son and Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith at the 56th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Indonesia in July 2023. (Photo: WVR/Anh Son)
Could you please share with us the significance and key contents of Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith’s visit to Vietnam as well as the importance of the 10th Vietnam-Laos Foreign Ministerial Political Consultation?
At the invitation of Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son, Lao Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith and the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs delegation visit Vietnam from November 21-23.
This visit to Vietnam by Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Saleumxay Kommasith takes place in the context that the cooperative relationship between the two countries in general and between the two Foreign Ministries of Vietnam and Laos is on the full development; thereby, to continue to affirm and further tighten the solidarity and attachment between the two Foreign Ministers as well as among officials of the Foreign Ministries of Vietnam and Laos.
|Vietnamese Ambassdor to Laos Nguyen Ba Hung. (Photo: HT)
Within the framework of the visit, Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Saleumxay Kommasith pays a courtesy call on Vietnamese leaders and together with Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son co-chair the 10th Vietnam-Laos Foreign Ministerial Political Consultation.
The Vietnam-Laos Foreign Ministerial Political Consultation is an important annual cooperation mechanism between the two Ministries, holding alternately every year. This is an opportunity for both sides to review and evaluate the situation of cooperative relations between Vietnam and Laos over the past year, thereby advising senior leaders of the two countries on major directions for the cooperative relationship between the two countries in 2024 and the following years; share views on international and regional issues of mutual interest.
The two sides will review and evaluate the outcomes of cooperation between the two Ministries in recent times on the basis of the Cooperation Agreement between the two Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam and Laos for the period 2021-2025. In particular, they will seek measures to make an important contribution to removing difficulties and obstacles in cooperative relations, contributing to good coordination and organization of high-level visits and contacts; coordinate with the ministries, branches and localities of the two countries to actively and effectively implement high-level agreements between the two countries; exchange measures to improve coordination between the two Foreign Ministries in the coming time, including the implementation of the Economic Diplomacy Action Plan for the period 2020-2025.
Economic and investment cooperation between the two countries is developing strongly as there have been 241 investment projects of Vietnam in Laos. How do you evaluate the "attractiveness" of the Lao market and what are the suggestions for Vietnamese businesses in the coming times?
The Lao market may not be really attractive to foreign investors due to the unfavorable investment environment and limited human resources, especially for investors from developed countries.
However, for Vietnamese businesses, this is still a potential market because of its geographical location, accessibility, and can be a market for exporting Vietnamese products (energy, minerals, agriculture). In particular, given to their attention, promotion and active support, both the Governments of Vietnam and Laos have created a favourable legal corridor and prioritized incentives for Vietnamese businesses investing in Laos.
Up to date, Vietnam has invested in 241 projects in Laos with a total capital of 5.47 billion USD, in the first 10 months of 2023 alone the registered capital is 114 million USD, an increase of 71.7% over the same period last year; realized capital is about 2.7 billion USD, reaching 50%. Depending on each stage, the quantity, scale and field of investment are diverse. There are periods of sub-due quietness and decline, however, Vietnam is always one of the leading countries in foreign investment in Laos and vice versa. Laos is also the country that receives the most investment from Vietnam.
Currently, there is a new wave of investment in Laos on a large scale and in depth, mainly focusing on exploiting some potentials in mining, processing, clean agriculture, clean and renewable energy and services. service; the scale of investment capital is also larger and the investment strategy is also clearer, such as Viet Phuong Group, Vietjet Air, Vingoup (Vinfast), Thaco - Truong Hai (agriculture) and Xuan Thien Group are looking for Opportunity to invest in Laos.
Next year, Laos will take on the role of ASEAN Chairmanship 2024 with the theme "ASEAN: Enhancing Connectivity and Resilience". How could the two countries coordinate towards the hopeful year of ASEAN 2024?
Since Laos officially announced its role as ASEAN Chairman in 2024, at the talks, meetings and contacts between leaders of the two countries, the two sides agreed to closely coordinate and support each other at multilateral forums, especially in ASEAN and Mekong sub-regional mechanisms.
In addition to the amount of 1 million USD as a gift from the Party, State and People of Vietnam to the Party, State and people of Laos on the occasion of the official visit to Laos by President Vo Van Thuong, the Vietnamese side affirmed that it will continue to support Laos in preparation work, especially discussing content, logistics, reception, security and other issues, with the aim to help Laos successfully assume the 2024 ASEAN Chairmanship.
From now until Laos organizes related meetings, conferences and throughout the ASEAN Year 2024, Vietnam will continue to cooperate closely with Laos as well as other ASEAN member countries and external partners for the common interests of the region and promote a strong ASEAN community.
I firmly believe that, with close coordination and support from other countries, including Vietnam, Laos's ASEAN Chairmanship Year 2024 will be as successful as expected, thereby positively contributing to peace, stability and cooperation for development in the region and the world.