Dec 29, 2021 / 21:21

Vietnam, Laos cement ties

The two countries will jointly hold activities to mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations and the 45th anniversary of the Vietnam- Laos Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in 2022.

The visit to Hanoi paid by Lao Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith on Dec 28-29 lengthens the list of high-ranking exchange visits between Vietnam and Laos in 2021 despite Covid-19.

Vietnam's Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son (R) and his Lao counterpart Saleumxay Kommasith in Hanoi on Dec 28. Photo: Baoquocte  

Saleumxay Kommasith came to Hanoi for the 8th ministerial-level political consultation that was co-chaired with his Vietnamese counterpart Bui Thanh Son.

Both sides expressed their delight at the development of the relations that they called “great friendship”, affirming that political trust between the two parties and countries has been reinforced through the exchange of all-level delegations, especially top leaders.

Early December 2021, President of the Lao National Assembly Xaysomphone Phomvihane visited Vietnam. In August 2021, Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc took a trip to Vientiane. In June, General Secretary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party and President of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith visited Hanoi. In September, Thongloun Sisoulith met Secretary General of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong at the Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam Leaders’ Summit.

The high-ranking exchange visits show how special the relations of the two neighboring countries are, especially their consensus on the Vietnam-Laos Cooperation Strategy for 2021-2030 and the Vietnam- Laos Cooperation Agreement in the 2021-2025 period.

For the near plans, the two countries will jointly hold activities to mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations and the 45th anniversary of the Vietnam- Laos Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in 2022.

Next year, the Friendship Year to commemorate the milestones will be organized in both countries.

Lao People’s Revolutionary Party and President of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith (L) and Vietnam's President Nguyen Xuan Phuc in Vientiane in handing over the National Assembly House worth $112 million donated by Vietnam. Photo: VNA

During the visit by Kommasith, the two sides affirmed they continue working closely with Mekong sub-regional cooperation mechanisms such as the Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam Development Triangle Area (CLV), the Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Vietnam Cooperation (CLMV), and the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS).

Kommasith affirmed that Laos will back Vietnam’s bid for a seat at the UN Human Rights Council in the 2023-2025 tenure.

On December 29, the two foreign ministers co-chaired a conference reviewing the “one-stop-shop” model at the Lao Bao-Densavan international border gate.

The Lao minister also co-chaired the 31st meeting of the Vietnam-Laos border delegations together with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the National Boundary Commission Nguyen Minh Vu.

Regarding economic ties, the two-way trade surpassed US$1.2 billion in the first 11 months of this year, up 33.6% on year.

In terms of investment, Vietnam poured $1.9 billion in 409 projects in Laos, ranking the third largest investor in the country.

In addition, cooperation in education, science and technology has been strengthened. The Vietnamese government has granted scholarships to nearly 17,000 Lao students studying in Vietnam.  

Vietnamese Ambassador to Lao Nguyen Ba Hung said the relations are so special that Vietnam has allowed Laos to use part of Vung Ang Port in Vietnam’s Central Province of Ha Tinh for economic development.

The special relationship has been proved through a tough time when Vietnam sent leading experts to help Laos handle the Covid-19 pandemic over the past two years. Lao highly appreciated the assistance and expected more expertise from Vietnam.