Vietnam and Laos have signed agreements on bilateral cooperation in economy, culture, education, science and technology for 2011 and the entire 2011-2015 period together with a strategic agreement for the 2011-2020 period.
These documents were inked during the 33rd session of the two countries’ Inter-Governmental Committee in Hanoi in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung, President of the Vietnam-Laos Sub-committee, and Deputy Prime Minister Somsavath Lengsavad, President of the Laos-Vietnam Sub-committee.
The two countries agreed to raise their two-way trade value to $2 billion by 2015 and focus investment on manufacturing and processing industries, and business cooperation in the 2011-2015 period to create a new momentum for each country to boost its production capacity.
They have set to concentrate on strategic projects to realize the goals of making Vietnam become industrialized within the next decade and bringing Laos out of the underdeveloped status by 2020.
Under these agreements, Vietnam will increase its scholarships to Lao students and officials by 10 percent annually to enable them to undertake graduate and post graduate courses in the country, with 695 scholarships for 2011. Laos will also train Vietnamese students and officials in graduate and post-graduate long term programs.
In addition, the two countries agreed to develop an inter-country scientific and technological information network and regularly exchange experience on the making of policies for the scientific and technological field.
The two sides will coordinate closely in implementing their commitments regarding issues on the two countries’ multilateral cooperation.
During the session, Vietnam and Laos reviewed their implementation of economic, cultural, scientific and technological cooperation strategy in the 2001-2010 period.
Continuing to implement their preferential tax mechanisms and policies, the two countries made a two-way trade turnover of $490 million in 2010, a 17 percent increase over the previous year.
In 2010, Vietnam remained Laos’s third biggest foreign investor with 248 investment projects capitalizing at $3.1 billion.
The same year, Vietnam gave 650 scholarships to Lao students and officials, and at present, 4,709 Lao people are studying in Vietnam.