Vietnam, Laos agree on major cooperation orientations for 2024: Prime Ministers

WVR/VNA - Vietnam and Laos agreed on major orientations to bolster their partnership in 2024, during the 46th meeting of the Vietnam-Laos Intergovernmental Committee for Bilateral Cooperation that was held in Hanoi on January 7 under the co-chair of Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and his Lao counterpart Sonexay Siphandone.
Vietnam, Laos agree on major cooperation orientations for 2024: Prime Ministers
Vietnam, Laos agree on major cooperation orientations for 2024: Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (first, right) and his Lao counterpart Sonexay Siphandone (first, left) witness the signing of the minute of meeting in Hanoi on January 7, 2024. (Photo: VNA)

The two sides concurred to continue specifying and effectively implementing agreements reached by the Politburos of Vietnam and Laos, the outcomes the meeting of leaders of the Communist Party of Vietnam, the Lao People's Revolutionary Party and the Cambodian People's Party, as well as the joint statements and deals reached at this meeting.

Vietnam and Laos will deepen their political-diplomatic relations, maintaining and enhancing the efficiency of bilateral cooperation mechanisms, strengthening defence-security cooperation, sharing macro-economic management experience, and fostering the connectivity between the two economies.

The Lao Government will create favourable conditions and give preferential policies for major projects of Vietnam, and adjust regulations on implementation duration for hydropower and mining projects to suit the new situation.

The two countries will boost bilateral trade towards the target of 10-15% growth this year, while focusing on strengthening connections in transport infrastructure, and promoting cooperation in agriculture and rural development.

Vietnam and Laos will continue to prioritise and increase the quality of education-training and human resources development collaboration. Vietnam agreed to grant 1,120 scholarships to Lao officials and students to study in Vietnam, and send teachers to Laos for the teaching of the Vietnamese language.

The two sides agreed to roll out measures to foster tourism connections with each other as well as among Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.

They will ask ministries, sectors, and localities to strengthen exchanges and cooperation, while paying greater attention to popularising the Vietnam-Laos great friendship and special solidarity to all people, especially the youth.

The two Governments as well as ministries and agencies of the two countries will continue to support each other at multilateral and regional forums. Vietnam will provide active and effective support to Laos to perform the role of the ASEAN Chair in 2024, AIPA Chair and the host of high-level events.

Concluding the event, the two Prime Ministers vowed that they will direct ministries, sectors and localities as well as businesses to strengthen cooperation in implementing bilateral agreements, continuing to provide optimal conditions for investment and business collaboration.

Looking back on bilateral cooperation in 2023, the two sides agreed that the political trust between the two countries was enhanced, guiding the overall bilateral relations. In the year, the two sides completed 13 groups of tasks put forth in the previous meeting.

Bilateral defence-security was fostered, while economic collaboration was promoted. Currently, Vietnam is running 245 projects worth about 5.5 billion USD in Laos.

In 2023, Vietnam invested 116.6 million USD in Laos, a surge of 65.3% year on year, with the accumulated disbursed capital of about 2.75 billion USD. Vietnamese investors paid about 200 million USD as financial obligations in Laos, with the total amount from 2015 to now reaching about 1.7 billion USD, while contributing 150 million USD to social welfare activities in Laos.

Meanwhile, Laos is investing in 18 projects in Vietnam with a combined capital of 110 million USD.

Last year, two-way trade reached about 1.6 billion USD, a slight drop of 2.1% year on year. To date, the Vietnam Electricity (EVN) has signed 19 power purchase agreements with investors to buy electricity from 26 hydropower projects in Laos with a total of 2,689MW.

Many joint projects have been sped up, including Nong Khang airport that was handed over to Laos in May 2023.

Locality-to-locality cooperation was also fruitful, while the two sides have coordinated closely to prepare for Laos’s performance as the ASEAN Chair in 2024, noted participants.

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(Source: WVR/VNA)