Viet Nam, Laos discuss future co-operation

Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Lao counterpart Somsavat Lengsavad sought measures to reach co-operation contents agreed for 2016-2020 during talks in Ha Noi yesterday.

Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) and his Lao counterpart Somsavat Lengsavad. — Photo VGP

They reviewed achievements made from 2011-2015, agreeing that the two countries' traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive co-operation had been promoted in a practical manner.

Political ties had been increasingly bolstered and consensus had been shared at regional and international co-operation forums, they said, pointing to the efficiency of annual meetings between the two countries' political bureaus and the Intergovernmental Committee.

They had worked closely in defence and security and in building a shared border of peace and comprehensive development, contributing to safeguarding their political stability and social order, they agreed.

Viet Nam has so far licensed 258 projects in Laos with a combined capital of around US$5.36 billion. The figure includes 14 projects that were newly licensed over the last 11 months with capital worth $1.16 billion.

Trade has grown since the two countries signed a new bilateral trade pact and border trade agreement, and they are working on a master border trade development plan. Both signed a memorandum of understanding on a transport co-operation strategy for 2016-2025 with a vision to 2030.

For 2016-2020, the two countries needed to reinforce political relations and exchange of visits in order to address problems arising during the implementation of co-operation agreements, the officials said.

Connections at regional and international forums would be stepped up, as would the settlement of issues relating to the respective countries' expatriates, they stressed.

Viet Nam would support Laos during its ASEAN Chairmanship in 2016 as well as work together with its neighbour at multilateral frameworks, especially in the formation of the ASEAN Community on December 31, 2015.

The two countries would strengthen security and defence affiliation to ensure political stability, internal security and social order, speed up key projects to be implemented on the shared border, and work hard to deal with cross-border drug trafficking.

They examined Vietnamese-invested projects in Laos along with agreements on border trade and the memorandum of understanding on transport, and boosting co-operation in agriculture and rural development, education, human resources and information sharing.

The talks were part of efforts to prepare a report for the Viet Nam-Laos Intergovernmental Committee to be submitted to the annual meeting of the two countries' political bureaus and the 38th session of the Viet Nam-Lao Intergovernmental Committee.

Border guard training

Construction started on a Viet Nam-funded border-guard training centre in Bolykhamsay Province in Laos on Saturday.

The groundbreaking ceremony saw the participation of Lao Deputy Minister of National Defence Souvone Luongbounmy, who is also Director General of the General Staff Department of the Lao People's Army (LPA). Vietnamese Ambassador to Laos Nguyen Manh Hung, and representatives from the locality and relevant ministries also attended.

The centre, with investment of VND125 billion ($5.58 million), will train and provide 150 border guards for the Laos Border Defence Force.

Deputy Director General of the General Staff Department of the LPA Chanthong Sonetaat highlighted the significance of the project, saying that it not only contributed to training border forces, but also helped enhance the capabilities of the LPA.

He added that the centre was evidence of the special solidarity between the two countries in the lead up to the 40th anniversary of Laos' National Day.


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