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|Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith (Photo: VNA)|
The organisation of the meeting aims to affirm the priority that the two countries gives to incessantly developing their great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive partnership. The meeting will also strengthen political trust between the two countries and create a channel for directing the implementation of high-level agreements.
Vietnam and Laos boast a long-standing special solidarity and faithful relationship nurtured by late Presidents Ho Chi Minh, Kaysone Phomvihane and Souphanouvong, and generations of the two countries’ leaders and people.
Over the past years, the two sides have been unceasingly consolidating and developing the great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the two Parties, States and peoples, considering these as important factors of the success of each country’s national development and defence.
Bilateral political and diplomatic ties have continued to be reinforced, as seen through mutual visits at all levels. By the end of August, the countries had exchanged more than 120 delegations, about 60 of which were at the deputy ministerial or higher levels. Both sides successfully organised the 41st meeting of the inter-governmental committee co-chaired by the two prime ministers.
Cooperation in defence, security and diplomacy has continued to record new development. The two countries have actively implemented the five-year cooperation protocol and annual defence – security cooperation plans, helping to ensure political stability, security and social order and safety in each nation. They have also effectively carried out the agreement on border regulations and the one on settling irregular migration and undocumented marriage in their border areas.
The countries have also coordinated closely and supported each other at regional and international forums. They have further enhanced cooperation with each other and other ASEAN members in building the ASEAN Community and maintaining the bloc’s solidarity and consensus in the strategic issues of the region, including the East Sea issue.
Laos strongly supported Vietnam’s bid for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council and holding of the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020.
Both have coordinated closely with other nations and relevant international organisations to manage and use the Mekong River’s water resources in a sustainable and effective manner.
Vietnam and Laos have witnessed robust cooperation in economy, culture, education-training and science-technique in the past years.
Despite global economic downturn, they attained 940 million USD in two-way trade during January-October of 2019, and the figure is projected to top 1.1 – 1.2 billion USD for the whole year, surpassing the set target of 1 billion USD.
Vietnam remains the third largest foreign investor in Laos. Vietnamese businesses have to date invested 4.22 billion USD in 413 projects in Laos, mainly in hydropower, mining, services, agriculture and telecom.
Besides, Vietnam provides 3.25 trillion VND (140 million USD) in non-refundable aid for Laos each year during 2016-2020. From the outset of 2019, Vietnam sent 300 tonnes of rice seedlings to Lao farmers to recover production after natural disasters.