Vietnam and Laos have pledged to further intensify their comprehensive cooperation to meet the two nations’ growing ambitions.
The message was jointly delivered by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and his Laos counterpart Thoongsing Thammavong, Laos President and People’s Revolutionary Party General Secretary Choummaly Sayasone and National Assembly Chairman Pany Yathotu during Dung’s two-day official friendship visit last week.
It was Dung’s first visit abroad since he was recently re-elected Vietnam’s prime minister. The visit aimed to further strengthened the two countries’ traditional relationship.
During talks between Dung and Thammavong, the two leaders agreed on continuing the comprehensive cooperation in culture, education and training, transport, health care, agriculture, and national security and defense.
They also agreed on accelerating already-inked investment and trade agreements expected to help lift the two countries’ two-way trade turnover from the last year’s $490 million to $2 billion by 2015.
Dung said Vietnam supported Laos’ bid to join the World Trade Organization and host the Asia-Europe Meeting Summit in 2012.
While talking with Sayasone, Dung affirmed that Vietnam would continue attaching great importance to developing its bilateral relationship with Laos.
Sayasone supported the two governments’ continued strengthening of cooperation in all fields, especially economic, trade and investment ties. The two sides would dub 2012 as “The year for Vietnam-Laos friendship and solidarity.”
Yathotu said Lao People’s Revolutionary Party and state believed in the bright future for the two countries.
During his visit, Dung co-chaired the Vietnam-Laos investment conference, the biggest of its type between the two countries.
The two sides reviewed Vietnam’s investment into Laos and solutions for intensifying the bilateral economic, investment and trade cooperation.
Lao Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavat highly appreciated Vietnamese companies for creating employment and contributing to ensuring social security and economic development in Laos. Specifically, under the two governments’ rubber plantation programme in Laos, the Vietnam Rubber Group is planting 23,000 hectares of rubber in Laos. This area is expected to expand to 100,000ha by 2015.
At the 33rd meeting of Vietnam-Laos Intergovernmental Commission in April this year, the two countries inked agreements on the 2011-2020 cooperation strategy, the Vietnam-Laos cooperation agreement 2011-2015 and the Vietnam-Laos cooperation agreement 2011.
There are 258 Vietnamese investment projects with total registered capital of over $3.3 billion in Laos, focusing on mineral exploitation, agriculture and the service industry.
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