Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the meeting. (Photo: VNA)
Trade cooperation was a spotlight of the Vietnam-Laos relationship in the first ten months of this year, with revenue reaching 940 million USD.
The figure was unveiled at a meeting of permanent Cabinet members in Hanoi on December 7 under the chair of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
The two-way trade is projected to hit 1.1-1.2 billion USD in 2019, up 12.6 percent year-on-year, surpassing the targets of 1 billion USD and 10 percent set by the Government.
Vietnam has become the third biggest investor in Laos with 413 projects valued at 4.22 billion USD, with the most outstanding a joint venture of Viettel Military Industry and Telecoms Group (Viettel), projects of Vietnam Rubber Group, Muong Thanh Hotel, Crow Plaza, LaoViet Bank and Xekaman 1 hydropower plant.
Besides, Vietnam has committed to providing 3.25 trillion VND (139.8 million USD) in non-refundable aid for Laos during the 2016-2020 period, including 707 billion VND in the 2019 fiscal year, up 18.4 percent against the previous year, aiming to help the neighbouring country implement projects on infrastructure, especially transport, energy, personnel training and social welfare.
In early 2019, Vietnam provided 300 tonnes of seeds for Laos in support of locals hit by natural disasters.
Apart from more than 1,000 scholarships granted to Lao students, Vietnam has also dispatched teachers to Laos and financed Vietnamese language teaching courses in the country.
This year, about five Vietnamese-funded projects have been completed in Laos and two others have been launched.
At the meeting, the Cabinet members also pointed out slow capital disbursement of the projects, along with bottlenecks in procedures.
The PM and other Cabinet members called for efforts to remove the difficulties to speed up the implementation work and prepare for the meeting of the Vietnam-Laos Inter-governmental Committee slated for January 2020./.