Wednesday , July 24 2024

Vietnamese, Lao Prime Ministers hold talks

Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính and his spouse (R) and Lao Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone and his spouse. VNA photo

HÀ NỘI – Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính held talks in Hà Nội on Saturday with his Lao counterpart Sonexay Siphandone who is on an official visit to Việt Nam from January 6-7.

PM Chính welcomed the first official visit to Việt Nam by Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone in his new capacity, and highly valued the achievements that the Party, State and people of Laos obtained recently, especially maintaining political-social stability and national defence-security, and boosting economic recovery.

He said he believed that under the leadership of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP), Laos would overcome all difficulties and challenges and successfully implement the 9th five-year socio-economic development plan, continue to successfully carry out the Resolution of its 11th National Party Congress.

He thanked the Lao Party and State for their valuable support to Việt Nam in the past struggle for national independence and the present national construction and development, while affirming that Việt Nam always treasures and gives the highest priority to the special relationship between the two countries.

For his part, Lao Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone expressed his impression of and congratulated Việt Nam on its achievements in socio-economic development, defence-security, and foreign affairs which helped raise the country’s prestige and position in the international arena.

They were considered a great source of encouragement and support for Laos’ national safeguarding and building, he said.

PM Sonexay Siphandone took the occasion to thank Việt Nam for the valuable support and assistance it gave to Laos in the struggle for independence, and national development.

The two PMs expressed their delight at the sound development of great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between Việt Nam and Laos in all fields, including the consolidation of political relations, the regular exchange of high-level visits and meetings, and the deepening of collaboration in defence, security and foreign affairs.

Besides, economic, trade and investment cooperation continues to witness positive changes. Việt Nam currently has 241 investment projects in Laos with a total registered capital of US$5.47 billion, ranking third among countries and territories investing in Laos. Total bilateral trade turnover in 2023 was estimated at more than $1.5 billion. Cooperation in other fields such as education-training, culture, science and technology, tourism and people-to-people exchanges is constantly strengthened.

Regarding future cooperation directions, the two PMs agreed to increase the exchange of high-level visits and contacts. PM Chính proposed both governments concretise and effectively implement the agreement between the Politburos of Việt Nam and Laos and outcomes of the meeting between General Secretary of the Communist Party of Việt Nam Nguyễn Phú Trọng, General Secretary of the LPRP and President of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith and President of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) Hun Sen.

The Vietnamese Government leader also suggested well implementing agreements between the two governments, including the Việt Nam-Laos Cooperation Strategy Agreement for the 2021 – 2030 period, the Việt Nam-Laos Bilateral Cooperation Agreement for the 2021 – 2025 period and the agreement on Việt Nam-Laos cooperation plan for 2024.

The two PMs consented to continue improving the effectiveness of defence and security cooperation to effectively address new challenges; strengthen border management and protection, and transnational crime prevention and combat, especially drug crimes; continue to coordinate and support the search and repatriation of remains of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers and experts who laid down their lives in Laos.

The two sides will strengthen the connectivity between the two economies of Việt Nam and Laos, especially in institutions, finance, transport infrastructure, energy, telecommunications, and tourism; continue to promote the Vientiane-Hà Nội expressway and Vientiane-Vũng Áng railway projects and other key cooperation projects; support each other to build independent, self-reliant economies, associated with extensive, effective, and practical international integration.

They will also strengthen tripartite cooperation between Việt Nam, Laos and an appropriate development partner to attract more resources for collaboration projects; work together to review and completely resolve difficulties and obstacles, creating a favourable investment and business environment for Vietnamese enterprises operating in Laos; effectively implement protocols and cooperation projects in education and human resources development; promote cooperation in health, culture, arts and sports; promote communications and education about the tradition of the special relations between Việt Nam and Laos for all walks of life, especially the young generation of the two countries.

Discussing regional and international issues of mutual concern, the two Prime Ministers emphasised the importance of maintaining peace, security and stability in the region, including maintaining ASEAN’s solidarity, common stance and centrality in regional security and strategic issues, such as the East Sea (known internationally as the South China Sea) issue. They also agreed to continue to coordinate closely and support each other at regional and international forums such as ASEAN, the United Nations, and Mekong sub-region cooperation mechanisms, and boost close cooperation between Việt Nam, Laos and Cambodia.

PM Chính affirmed that Việt Nam would be ready to support Laos to successfully perform international responsibilities in 2024, including the ASEAN Chairmanship.

On this occasion, he conveyed greetings, good health and New Year wishes from Party General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng and Vietnamese leaders to Party General Secretary and President of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith, Chairman of the Lao National Assembly Xaysomphone Phomvihane, and senior leaders of the Party and State of Laos.

After the talks, the two Prime Ministers witnessed the signing of four cooperation documents, including a protocol on border guard cooperation between the defence ministries of Việt Nam and Laos, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation plan between the Government Office of Việt Nam and the Lao Prime Minister’s Office, a MoU on development and connectivity of border trade infrastructure between the Governments of Việt Nam and Laos, and a cooperation plan for 2024 between the Ministry of Education and Training and Laos’ Ministry of Education and Sports. VNA/VNS

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