Vietnam President visits Laos to fortify multi-faceted ties

Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang started a three-day State visit to neighboring Laos Thursday to further strengthen the multi-faceted relationship and cooperation between the two countries.

The visit is at the invitation of Lao Party General Secretary and State President Choummaly Sayasone.

Lao Party General Secretary and State President Choummaly Sayasone (L) and visiting Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang view the honor guard in Vientiane Feb. 9, 2012

Right after the welcoming ceremony in Vientiane, the Vietnamese President held talks with his Lao Party leader and President Choummaly Sayasone.

The two sides reiterated that they always give priority to fortifying and strengthening the relationship, considering it a precious asset that should be preserved and passed to future generations.

The two sides agreed to raise bilateral trade to US$2 billion by 2015, expecting this year’s number to be US$1 billion.

After the talks, Mr. Sang and Mr. Choummaly Sayasone witnessed the signing of various documents on cooperation. They included a 2012 cooperation plan between the two education ministries, a protocol on training cooperation between the two governments, credit agreements of banks and business deals of companies.

Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang (3rd, L) launches a branch for the Vietnam Joint Stock Bank for Industry and Trade (VietinBank) in Vientiane Feb. 9, 2012

Also Thursday, the Vietnamese President met with Lao Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong and Lao National Assembly Chairwoman Pany Yathotu.

He later participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the headquarters of the general association of the Vietnamese in Laos. The headquarters will serve as a meeting place for about 30,000 members. The Vietnamese leader appreciated the building of the center.

Mr. Sang then visited the Vietnamese Embassy in Vientiane and overseas Vietnamese in the neighboring country.

On the same day, he cut the red ribbon to launch a branch of the Vietnam Joint Stock Bank for Industry and Trade (VietinBank) in Vientiane.

During the opening ceremony, the Vietnamese bank signed cooperation deals with seven Vietnamese and Lao enterprises.

By staff reporters, translated by Tuong Vy

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