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Vietnam-Laos Inter-Governmental Committee discusses bilateral ties during session in Hanoi

02/13/2019, 05:17 AM

The 41st session of the Vietnam-Laos Inter-Governmental Committee convened in Hanoi on Sunday, focusing on development orientations for bilateral relationship in 2019.

The gathering was chaired by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Laotian counterpart Thongloun Sisoulith, who was on a January 5-6 visit to Vietnam.

During the session, PM Phuc expressed his delight at the positive development of traditional friendship, special solidarity, and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries over the past year, according to the Vietnam News Agency.

Both sides were satisfied with the ties between the two governments in 2018, especially in politics, external affairs, national defense and security, and social safety and order. 

Over 400 projects worth about US$4.1 billion by Vietnamese firms contributed to Laos’ socio-economic development, while two-way trade exceeded the $1 billion benchmark in 2018, up 14 percent year-on-year. 

The number of Vietnamese scholarships for Lao students keeps increasing, helping to raise the total number of the Lao students in Vietnam to more than 14,200 so far.

The two premiers reached consensus on cooperation orientations for 2019, which emphasize collaboration across politics, foreign affairs, defense, and security.

<em>Delegates of the meeting witness the signing of cooperation agreements</em>. <em>Photo:</em> Vietnam News Agency
Delegates of the meeting witness the signing of cooperation agreements. Photo: Vietnam News Agency

Regarding economic ties, Vietnam and Laos will exchange experience in building policies to stabilize the macro-economy and promote sustainable development, while creating business conditions for companies in each nation to reach ten-percent growth in two-way trade this year. 

Both sides will prioritize improving their education-training cooperation, and boost ties in such fields as culture, science, society, communications, sports, healthcare, and legislation, among others.

The leaders agreed to continue tightening coordination and mutual support at regional and international forums.

The two countries will stand by each other to deepen the cooperative progress of the ASEAN Community, and enhance the ASEAN’s role in strategic issues of the region, including the situation in the East Vietnam Sea.

Following the session, the Vietnamese government will direct relevant ministries, sectors, localities, enterprises and units to closely collaborate with their Lao counterparts to immediately and effectively implement the decisions made during the meeting.

Both prime ministers also witnessed the signing and exchange of six documents, including an agreement on cooperation between the two governments in 2019.