As neighbouring countries, Vietnam and Laos have walked hand in hand through many challenges, reinforcing their solidarity and loyalty.
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) welcomes General Secretary of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP) Central Committee and President of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith in Ha Noi on June 29, 2021 (Photo: VNA)
The upcoming official friendly visit to Laos by President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his spouse will reaffirm Vietnam’s strong and comprehensive support to the process of national reform, defence and construction of Laos.
The visit, to take place from August 9-10 at the invitation of General Secretary of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP) Central Committee and President of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith, will also highlight Vietnam’s special attention to maintaining and developing the great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive partnership between the two countries.
As neighbouring countries, Vietnam and Laos have walked hand in hand through many challenges, reinforcing their solidarity and loyalty. The bilateral ties, founded by President Ho Chi Minh and President Kaysone Phomvihane and nurtured by generations of leaders and people of both nations, have been thriving to be “more stable than mountains, more long-lasting than rivers.”
The relations have become a development rule and a factor ensuring the success of the revolutionary cause of each country and a valuable asset of both Parties and nations, which must be protected and reinforced and transferred to next generations, Vietnamese Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong said while receiving Lao Party General Secretary and President Thongloun Sisoulith on June 28, 2021.
Amid complicated developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, the two countries have managed to maintain the exchange of visits and communication in different formats.
Defence-security and external relations have continued to be an important pillars in Vietnam-Laos relations, with joint efforts in ensuring security and maintaining a shared border of peace and friendship as well as searching and repatriating remains of Vietnamese volunteers and experts who died in Laos during the war.
The two sides have effectively implemented the annual consultation mechanisms between Chairpersons of the Party Central Committee’s Commissions for External Relations and Ministers of Foreign Affairs, while regularly exchanging information about regional and international issues of mutual concern, and coordinating together and promoting mutual support at multilateral forums, especially within the ASEAN, the UN and sub-regional mechanisms.
In the context of complicated COVID-19 developments in both countries, the bilateral multifaceted partnership has still developed.
In the 2016-2020 period, total trade between the two sides reached about 4.8 billion USD. In the first six months of 2021, the figure hit 670 million USD, up 36.5 percent rise over the same period last year.
Vietnam now has 209 valid investment projects worth about 5.16 billion USD in Laos, ranking third among foreign investors in the country.
The Lao Government has agreed to open the Dak Ta-Ok (Xekong) - Nam Giang (Quang Nam) border gate to promote trade exchange between the two sides.
Along with expanding export activities, both sides have focused on cooperation in personnel training for transport and construction sectors, and energy industry.
Both sides have concentrated on enhancing partnership in education-training and human resources development. The two Ministries of Education and Training have issued plans of cooperation in the 2021-2030 period. This year, Vietnam will give 1,220 scholarships to Lao officials and students, while Laos will offer 60 scholarships to Vietnam. Currently, more than 16,600 Lao students are studying in Vietnam.
Partnerships among localities, especially those along the shared border has been strengthened.
People-to-people exchanges have been increased with various cultural, art and sport activities, contributing to deepening the Vietnam-Laos relationship.