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Dec 06, 2021 / 17:42

Lao National Assembly Chairman starts three-day visit to Vietnam

This is the first overseas trip paid by the Lao top lawmaker since he took office in January 2021.

Lao Chairman of National Assembly Saysomphone Phomvihane today began his official visit to Hanoi, being the first guest of Vietnam’s parliament since the inauguration of its 15th term (2021-2026) in July 2021.   

Chairman of Vietnam's National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue welcomes his Lao counterpart Saysomphone Phomvihane in Hanoi on Dec 6. Photos: VNA 

In the three-day visit starting Dec 6 at the invitation of Vietnamese counterpart Vuong Dinh Hue, Saysomphone Phomvihane is said to affirm the Lao diplomacy of maintaining the special relations with Vietnam that “nothing can hurt” during his first foreign visit since he took office in January 2021.

In addition to the bilateral meeting with Chairman of the National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue, Saysomphone Phomvihane will meet with Vietnamese leaders to discuss measures to make the cooperation effective and substantive according to the consensus reached between the two countries’ leaders, said Laotian Ambassador to Vietnam Sengphet Houngboungnuang.

According to the ambassador, the visit carries a “special meaning” as described by the two countries’ media. It affirms the friendship and solidarity of the two countries and two peoples, facilitating the implementation of agreements signed for 2021 and the following years.

The comprehensive ties are based on politics, defense-security, economic, health, science, and culture, and cooperation among localities.

He said that in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, the two countries have maintained high-ranking exchange visits, including the visit to Vietnam on June 28-29 by Lao President Thongloun Sisoulith and the visit to Laos on August 9-10 by Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

During Phuc’s visit, Vietnam handed over Laos the NA House worth US$112 million that symbolizes the Vietnam-Lao special friendship. The building, which is most modern and biggest in terms of investment capital, is home to the NA meetings and Laos most honorable events, the ambassador noted.

 The two top lawmakers at the welcoming ceremony on Dec 6. 

Bilateral relations

Vietnam and Laos have set up a diplomatic relationship in 1962. Between 2016 and 2020, Vietnam was Laos’ third-largest investor with registered capital of US$4.2 billion, up 35% against 2010. In 2020, Vietnam’s investment capital to Lao sky-rocketed by 130% on-year.

So far, Vietnam has poured US5.16 billion in 209 projects across Laos, retaining the position of the third biggest investor in the neighboring country.

“The bilateral cooperation ties in politics have climbed to new heights proven by the regular exchange of high-level visits of leaders from the two parties and governments,” The Vientiane Times reported.

In the visit given to Vientiane in August 2021 by Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Vietnam and Laos signed 14 agreements spanning a wide range of cooperation. In the visit to Hanoi paid by Thongloun Sisoulith, General Secretary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, both countries signed dozens of agreements, including the Vietnam-Laos Strategic Cooperation for 2021-2030.

In the visit paid by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong in 2019, the two countries signed 9 agreements. During the tour to Laos in 2018 paid by then Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the two sides inked 12 agreements. 

 The chairmen join the meeting.