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Sunday, January 24 2021
Tiếng Việt
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Date 06/12/2020-14:12:00 PM
The 43rd Session of the Intergovernmental Committee on Bilateral Cooperation between Vietnam and Laos
(MPI) - On December 6th, 2020, the 43rd Session of the Intergovernmental Committee on bilateral cooperation between the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Government of the Lao PDR took place in Hanoi co-chaired by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulit.
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulit.Photo: MPI

Attending the meeting were the Minister of Planning and Investment of Vietnam, Chairman of the Vietnam-Laos Cooperation Committee Nguyen Chi Dung and Deputy Prime Minister cum Minister of Planning and Investment of Laos, Chairman of Laos-Vietnam cooperation Committee Sonsai Siphandone and leaders of ministries, line ministries and local authorities of the two countries.

At the meeting, the two countries approved the agenda;assessing the implementation of the Agreement on Laos - Vietnam Cooperation Plan 2020;discussing the direction of cooperation in 2021;signing documents, i.e.: Agreement on Vietnam-Laos Cooperation Strategy for the Period of 2021-2030, Agreement on Bilateral Cooperation between Vietnam and Laos for the Period of 2021-2025, Agreement on Vietnam-Laos Cooperation Plan in 2021, Minutes of the 43rd Meeting.

The two sides assessed that, the Agreement on the Vietnam-Laos Cooperation Plan in 2020 had been well coordinated, bringing practical results in promoting the cooperation in different areas between the two countries under the specific and drastic direction of the Prime Ministers, the efforts of the ministries, line ministries, local authorities and enterprises despite the global and regional economies keeping to fluctuate.

In particular, the political and diplomatic cooperation between Vietnam and Laos becomes more and more profound, strengthened and closely attached.Defense and security cooperation continues to be the pillar, well implementing the maintenance of political stability, social order and safety of each country, helpingto build a peaceful, stable, friendly, cooperative and comprehensive development of the border line between Vietnam and Laos.

Economic, trade and investment cooperation has been taken good care of and promoted by the two countries which has obtained very remarkable results.Regarding trade cooperation, the two sides noted difficulties in import-export trade activities between the two countries in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.The two sides have closely coordinated and issued customs clearance procedures for import and export goods, ensuring smooth import and export activities at border gates.However, due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and natural disasters in the two countries, the bilateral trade turnover in the first 10 months of 2020 was only 815.5 million USD, a fall by 12.2% compared to the same period last year. It is estimated that for the whole 2020, trade turnover of the two countries will reach 980 million USD, down by 15.6% over the same period last year.

Cooperation in education and training of various forms has been expanded further which has received the two Governments’ interest and priority. The two sides have coordinated in teaching basic Vietnamese for 4 months for Lao officials and students before going to study in Vietnam;implementing many measures to improve the quality of human resource training for Laos;organizing forums to improve the quality of training between Vietnam and Laos since the 2016 school year.

The cooperation between ministries, line ministries, local authorities, and enterprises continues to be promoted and becomes more practical.Cooperation and mutual assistance relationship between localities, especially those that share a border, continues to be strengthened, especially in infrastructure construction, health care, and education to develop human resources, ensuring security, order and safety in the border areas of the two countries.

Panorama of the meeting.Photo: MPI

Regarding the main directions and tasks for cooperation in 2021 and the following years, at the meeting, the two sides agreed on the following issues: To continue promoting and bringing the political and diplomatic relations deeper and more effective, providing overall guidance for the Vietnam-Laos cooperation;To maintain and improve the effectiveness of cooperation mechanisms (including the Bilateral Cooperation Committee);To effectively organize visits and meetings between senior leaders in flexible forms;To enhance the practicality and effectiveness of cooperation at all levels, sectors and localities;To strengthen pillars of cooperation between the two countries on defense and security;To closely coordinate and maintain political stability, security, social order and safety in each country, especially ensuring security on border lines.

The two sides also agreed on enhancing connectivity and complementarity between the two economies, especially the connection in transport, electric energy, telecommunications and tourism;taking specific measures to improve the efficiency of investment cooperation which focus on solving difficulties and problems in a number of investment projects of Vietnam in Laos and vice versa, resolutely overcoming the sluggishness and spreading in investment cooperation, facilitating trade development between the two countries;boosting two-way trade turnover.

Regarding the cooperation between the ministries, line ministries, organizations and local authorities of the two countries, it is necessary that efficiency and practicality is improvedto encourage ministries, line ministries, organizations, local authorities and enterprises to help each other in the areas where the two sides have strengths.The Vietnamese side should continue to give as much support as possible to the ministries, line ministries, organizations and local authorities of Laos.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith witnessed the signing of the Minutes of Meeting between the Minister of Planning and Investment of Vietnam, Chairman of the Vietnam-Laos Cooperation Committee Nguyen Chi Dung and Deputy Prime Minister cum Lao Minister of Planning and Investment, Chairman of Laos - Vietnam Cooperation Committee Sonsai Siphandone.Photo: MPI

Speaking at the press conference after the meeting, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc emphasized that the meeting was a success and achieved many important results, contributing to deepening the relationship between the two countries.This is an exemplary, faithful, rare relationship that is a precious common property of the two countries and peoples which need to be preserved for ever by the next generations of the two countries.

With the participation of leaders of ministries, line ministries, local authorities, and groups, the meeting focused on a comprehensive assessment of all areas, ensuring efficiency and development between the two countries in the coming time.

The meeting assessed that the cooperation in the areas of foreign affairs, defense, security, economy, culture, society, and people exchange had been continuously expanded.Education and training cooperation is promoted.Although the epidemic makes it difficult to travel between the two countries, Vietnam has welcomed more than 9,000 Lao students back to Vietnam to study.In the context of many difficulties, Vietnam's registered investment capital in Laos has attained about 4.2 billion USD. In the first 11 months of 2020, there were 08 projects with new registration certificates and adjusted capital with a total accumulated capital of nearly 143 million USD. , an increase of more than 130% compared to the same period in 2019. Border trade cooperation between the two countries is accelerated.

Regarding the cooperation in the coming time, the two sides agreed to well implement the joint statements and agreements signed by senior leaders at the meeting, including the Agreementon the Vietnam - Laos Cooperation Plan in 2021. The two countries have introduced many effective measures, especially encouraging ministries, agencies and local authorities to support and cooperate to help each other in the spirit of "sharing a grain of salt and a stalk of vegetable" between Vietnam and Laos.

In the spirit of their special relationship and mutual trust, the two countries affirmed that they will closely coordinate and support each other in regional and international fora, especially on cooperation within ASEAN, ASEM, the United Nations and the Mekong cooperation forum. These cooperation have been concretized in the documents of the Meeting signed by the Cooperation Committee, ministries and local authorities of the two sides.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc affirmed that right after the meeting, the Government of Vietnam would focus on directing ministries, line ministries, local authorities, businesses and related agencies to closely coordinate with Lao partners to effectively implement commitments, creating favorable conditions for businesses to invest and do business effectively in Laos.

Minister Nguyen Chi Dung and Deputy Prime Minister cum Minister Sonsai Siphandone exchanged theMinutes of the Meeting.Photo: MPI

Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulit agreed with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc's comments that the 43rd session had achieved unprecedented results since the two sides held the Intergovernmental Committee meeting with 17 documents signed at the Meeting.

Laos highly appreciates the socio-economic development of Vietnam, the closest and dearest friend and comrade of the Lao people.Despite the difficulties, especially the Covid-19 pandemic and natural disasters, in recent years, Vietnam still achieves positive growth.Laos also congratulates Vietnam for the outstanding completion of the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020. Laos and Vietnam will also develop steadily, contributing to peace, stability and development, emphasized Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulit.

Prime Minister of Laos Thongloun Sisoulit hoped the ministries, line ministries and local authorities of the two countries would implement well the contents of the meeting to contribute to the socio-economic development of Laos and contribute to promoting the friendship between Laos and Vietnam.

The two sides believed that the success of the Meeting would create a driving force for a new phase, bringing the cooperation between the two countries to an increasingly open, profound, substantive and effective manner, making an important contribution to strengthening and consolidating the great relationship and special solidarity between Vietnam and Laos in the new period of time./.


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