|Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and his spouse (R) and Lao Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone and his spouse__Photo: VNA
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh held talks in Hanoi on January 6 with his Lao counterpart Sonexay Siphandone who is on an official visit to Vietnam from January 6-7.
PM Chinh welcomed the first official visit to Vietnam by Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone in his new capacity, and highly valued the achievements that the Party, State and people of Laos have obtained recently, especially maintaining political - social stability and national defense - security, and boosting economic recovery.
He said he believes that under the leadership of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP), Laos will overcome all difficulties and challenges and successfully implement the 9th five-year socio-economic development plan, continue to successfully carry out the Resolution of the 11th National Party Congress.
He thanked the Lao Party and State for their valuable support to the past struggle for national independence and at-present national construction and development, while affirming that Vietnam 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 Vietnam on its achievements in socio-economic development, defense - security, and foreign affairs which help raise the country's prestige and position in the international arena.
They are considered a great source of encouragement and support for Laos’ national safeguarding and building, he said.
PM Sonexay Siphandone took the occasion to thank valuable support and assistance Vietnam 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 Vietnam 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 defense, security and foreign affairs.
Besides, economic, trade and investment cooperation continues to witness positive changes. Vietnam currently has 241 investment projects in Laos with a total registered capital of USD 5.47 billion, ranking the 3rd among countries and territories investing in Laos. Total bilateral trade turnover in 2023 is estimated at more than USD 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 Chinh proposed both governments concretize and effectively implement the agreement between the Politbureaus of Vietnam and Laos and outcomes of the meeting between General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong, 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 Vietnam-Laos Cooperation Strategy Agreement for the 2021-30 period, the Vietnam-Laos Bilateral Cooperation Agreement for the 2021-25 period and the agreement on Vietnam-Laos cooperation plan for 2024.
The two PMs consented to continue improving the effectiveness of defense 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 Vietnam and Laos, especially in institutions, finance, transport infrastructure, energy, telecommunications, and tourism; continue to promote Vientiane-Hanoi expressway and Vientiane-Vung Ang railway projects and other key cooperation projects; support each other to build independent, self-reliant economies, associated with extensive, effective, and practical international integration.
|Vietnamese and Lao Prime Ministers witness the signing of a protocol on border guard cooperation between the defense ministries of Vietnam and Laos__Photo: VNA
They will also strengthen tripartite cooperation between Vietnam, 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 favorable investment and business environment for Vietnamese enterprises operating 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 Vietnam 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 emphasized 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 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 Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
PM Chinh affirmed that Vietnam is 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 Nguyen Phu Trong 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 defense ministries of Vietnam and Laos, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation plan between the Government Office of Vietnam and the Lao Prime Minister’s Office, a MoU on development and connectivity of border trade infrastructure between the Governments of Vietnam and Laos, and a cooperation plan for 2024 between the Ministry of Education and Training and Laos’ Ministry of Education and Sports.- (VNA/VLLF)