(MPI) - On June 22, 2019, in Vientiane, Laos, an Exchange Conference between the Ministries of Planning and Investment of Vietnam and Laos was held under the chairmanship of Minister of Planning and Investment of Vietnam Nguyen Chi Dung, the Chairman of the Vietnam - Laos Cooperation Committee and Minister of Planning and Investment of Laos, Suphan Keomixay, the Chairman of the Laos - Vietnam Cooperation Committee.
Speaking at the Conference, Minister Nguyen Chi Dung hopes that both sides would discuss on the cooperation situation and present stronger solutions to promote the cooperation relationship between the Vietnam - Laos Cooperation Committee and the Laos - Vietnam Cooperation Committee, as well as between the two countries’ Ministries of Planning and Investment becoming more and more substantive, effective, elevated to a new height.
According to the report, in the past time, the Vietnam - Laos investment cooperation has been being promoted quite well. Currently, there are 413 projects of Vietnamese enterprises in Laos, with a total investment of more than 4.1 billion USD, of which Vietnamese enterprises' investment is 3.9 billion USD. Most of these projects are invested in the fields of agriculture, industry and handicrafts, mining and other service sectors. These projects are continuing to contribute positively to the socio-economic development of Laos.
However, there are some projects that have not reached the committed schedule, there are some projects that are lengthening, do not comply with contracts and Laos’ regulations, etc. Therefore, the two parties must work together to handle, promote investment from Vietnam to Laos more strongly. At the same time, it is necessary to promote large-scale projects with vital meaning, such as Vientiane - Hanoi Highway Project, Vientiane - Vung Ang Railway, projects to upgrade the road from Phuthitphong in Luang Prabang province to Naxon, the project to repair and upgrade the highway 18B in Attapeu, etc.
In addition, it is also necessary to accelerate the progress of development cooperation projects, such as Nong Khiaw Airport, Xieng Khouang and Huaphanh Friendship Hospital, Xieng Khouang Gifted School, etc.
Agreeing with the proposals from Laos, Minister Nguyen Chi Dung said that both Cooperation Committees and two ministries should focus more on solving difficulties for investment projects of Vietnamese enterprises in Laos, as well as accelerating the progress of development assistance projects, soon put them into operation, to bring about high efficiency.
According to Minister Nguyen Chi Dung, to promote cooperation, Laos needs to focus on improving the business investment environment, enhancing competitiveness, because this is the core factor for Laos to attract investment, create value added for the economy, increase budget revenue, create jobs, etc., the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment is willing to share its experiences. Minister Nguyen Chi Dung also mentioned areas where the two countries should focus on promoting in the coming time, which are agriculture and tourism. These are the two areas where Laos currently has a lot of room for development.
At the end of the Conference, the two ministers signed the Cooperation Agreement between the two ministries for the period of 2019-2021. The agreement states that in the last time, in the implementation of the Cooperation Agreement period 2017-2018 between the two Ministries signed on July 28, 2017, in Da Nang City, Vietnam has achieved positive results, contributing to enhancing, strengthening and developing cooperation relations between the two countries in general, and the two Ministries of Planning and Investment in particular.
Particularly, the two sides have performed the task of advising the two Parties and the two Governments in effectively implementing the Agreement on Cooperation Plan for 2018 and promoting the implementation of the Laos-Vietnam Cooperation Treaty period 2016-2020. The Cooperation Committees of the two countries also actively coordinated with functional agencies of both sides to promote, exam and monitor the implementation of direct investment projects of Vietnamese enterprises in Laos and Lao enterprises in Vietnam, and at the same time, promote the implementation of the Vietnamese Government's non-refundable aid projects for the Laos Government, which was agreed by the two sides at the 41st Session.
Both sides have also regularly sent missions to exchange expertise and specializations in the field of planning and investment, especially in planning, verification, appraisal, management and storage, statistical work and management, monitoring of projects using ODA capital, inspection work, one-door service work for private investment, etc. With the desire to strengthen comprehensive cooperation in the field of planning and investment between the two countries to grow more and more, the two sides agreed on many contents of cooperation tasks for the period of 2019-2021.
In particular, one of the essential contents is to continue strengthening comprehensive cooperation between the two ministries in the field of planning, investment, and statistics, closely coordinating in promoting cooperation relationship between the two countries, promoting and managing the investment of enterprises in each country; at the same time, acting as a focal point to push Vietnamese enterprises that signed contracts or agreements to implement according to the schedule and solving the remaining difficulties of licensed investment projects in each period.
Both sides will also continue to send missions to exchange, support fostering professional and specialized skills in areas such as macroeconomic management research, private investment management and special economic zone management, economic statistics survey and statistical management at all levels, etc. The two sides also agreed to organize conferences to exchange professional experiences every two years in a rotating form. The next conference will take place in 2021, hosted by the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment.
Before that, on the afternoon of June 21, 2019, a professional conference on planning and investment took place between Vietnam’s and Laos, Ministries of Planning and Investment. At the Conference, representatives of the heads of units of the Ministry of Planning and Investment of Vietnam shared their experiences in building mechanisms, policies and organizing the implementation of some issues related to State management of the Ministry.
Also in the afternoon of June 21, 2019, Minister Nguyen Chi Dung, Chairman of the Vietnam-Laos Cooperation Committee came to greet Laos’ Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith.
Notably, from June 19 to June 21, 2019, Minister Nguyen Chi Dung has crossed hundreds of kilometers to check the progress of implementing projects in the framework of cooperation between the two countries such as the Agricultural Technical Service Center, Nong Khiaw Airport Project, Vietnam - Laos Friendship Hospital at Huaphanh and Xieng Khouang, Xieng Khouang Gifted School, etc Among them, the Xieng Khouang Gifted School Project and the Vietnam - Laos Friendship Hospital Project are worth noticing. These are two symbolic projects for Vietnam - Laos cooperation in general and Vietnam with Huaphanh and Xieng Khouang provinces in particular. According to data, since 2010, the Vietnamese Government and localities have supported Xieng Khouang with more than 40 million USD to build many significant infrastructure structures and projects, as well as structures in the field of education and health, etc. These projects have contributed significantly to promoting the local socio-economy. In addition, Vietnamese enterprises have also invested 09 projects in Xieng Khouang, with a total investment of over 40 million USD.
After field trips in the localities, Minister Nguyen Chi Dung assessed the great potential of Laos in agricultural and tourism development. Minister Nguyen Chi Dung proposed, in the coming time, the two sides should promote cooperation in these fields in such a way that allows Vietnamese enterprises to support the people of Laos to expand their markets and participate in value chains, as well as opens tourist routes, promotes Laos’ tourism development.
The field trips of Minister Nguyen Chi Dung and this Conference has a significant meaning, affirming the close coordination, the traditional friendship and special solidarity expressed through the fact that two Cooperation Committees, Laos - Vietnam and Vietnam - Laos, as well as the two countries’ Ministries of Planning and Investment have had close coordination and positive activities. The two sides believe, the two Ministries of Planning and Investment and the two Cooperation Committees will continue growing strong to advise the two Parties and the two Governments, making the cooperation and investment of the two countries to have a new step in line with the integration period./.
Ministry of Planning and Investment