August 14, 2012
The agreement was reached during a mid-year meeting of the Vietnam-Laos and Laos-Vietnam Sub-committees for cooperation in Vientiane on August 12. Both sides said they will effectively implement a project on education and training cooperation by increasing the exchange of their students. Vietnam will send 28 teachers to Laos to teach Vietnamese in the 2012-2013 academic year.
They will soon launch negotiations of a new investment encouragement and protection agreement and further implement the 2008-2015 bilateral trade development project.
They will work closely together to organise a trade exhibition and fair in Vientiane, and promote trade exchanges between Vietnamese and Lao localities.
In addition, the two sides agreed to take immediate measures to ease difficulties for their business communities, and increase cooperation in market management and the fight against cross-border smuggling.
Vietnam pledged to support Laos in successfully organising the 9th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) later this year.
Reviewing activities in the first six months of this year, Vietnamese and Lao delegates held that the two countries frequently exchanged visits at different levels, jointly organised major anniversaries in bilateral relations, and supported each other at regional and international forums.
Vietnam and Laos are celebrating 50 years of diplomatic ties and 35 years of signing their friendship and cooperation treaty in 2012.
Priority was given to bilateral cooperation in education and human resource training. Currently, 5,300 Lao officials and students are studying in Vietnam, of whom 38 percent are under the scholarship programme between the two governments.
Progress was made in trade and investment cooperation. The Lao government licensed an additional four Vietnamese-invested projects with a total capitalisation of US$73 million.
Vietnam has so far invested in 435 projects totalling US$5.2 billion in Laos, making it among the largest foreign investors in the neighbouring country.
In the January-June period, two-way trade rose 33.1 percent to hit US$465.7 million, and the figure is expected to increase to US$1 billion by the end of this year. The two countries have agreed to raise bilateral trade value to US$2 billion by 2015.
The two sides signed the minutes of the meeting and agreed to organise the 35th session of the Vietnam-Laos Inter-governmental Committee in Vietnam.
They signed an agreement to implement on a trial basis a capital construction investment project using the Vietnamese government’s aid. The Lao side will undertake the project itself with assistance from Vietnam.
They also signed a contract on mineral ore exploitation in Xieng Khouang province between the Laos government and Vietnam’s Chien Thang Mining and Industry Company.
The Chairman of Vietnam’s Ha Tinh provincial People’s Committee, Vo Kim Cu, reported on the possibility of establishing a border economic cooperation zone between Ha Tinh and Bolikhamxay provinces.
The meeting was attended by the Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Lao counterpart Somsavad Lengsavath. They are heads of the two countries’ sub-committees for cooperation.
Photo Credit: VietNamNet Bridge