Vietnamese Ambassador to Laos Nguyen Ba Hung lauded growing Vietnam – Laos ties during an interview granted to the media on December 14 on the occasion of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh’s working trip to Laos from December 16-19.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh hosts a reception for Lao Deputy Foreign Minister Khamphau Ernthavan (Source: VNA)
During the trip, the Deputy PM will attend the fourth Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (MLC), pay an official visit to Laos, and co-chair the fifth ministerial-level political consultation between the two countries.
Hung said via high-level visits and exchanges, leaders of the two Parties and States have reached important and strategic agreements to shape orientations for bilateral ties in the long-term while friendly collaboration between ministries, departments and agencies at the central and local levels has brought about practical results.
Further attention has been paid to raising public awareness, especially young generations, of the significance of bilateral relationship. Both sides have completed and popularised the document “History of Vietnam – Laos Special Relationship 1930-2007”, and effectively held hundreds of events, particularly during the Year of Vietnam – Laos, Laos – Vietnam Solidarity and Friendship 2017, not only in each country but also in Vietnamese and Lao representative offices abroad, contributing to popularising their special, loyal and pure ties to international friends.
In economic terms, Vietnam remains one of the biggest investors and major trade partners of Laos. Many Vietnamese firms built welfare facilities such as schools, hospitals and roads to reduce poverty and improve intellectual standards in Laos. Connectivity between the two economies, especially in infrastructure and transportation, has been strengthened.
The ambassador expressed his belief that Laos will become an important transit hub in Southeast Asia on the back of cooperation with Vietnam and regional countries.
In education, the two countries launched the project on improving the quality and efficiency of Vietnam – Laos coordination in education and human resources development for the 2011-2020 period. Each year, Vietnam offers 1,000 short-term and long-term training courses to Laos, More than 14,600 Lao students are studying in Vietnam while hundreds of Vietnamese students are pursuing education in Laos.
Bilateral national defence-security links have been strengthened with the completion of a project on increasing and upgrading Vietnam – Laos national border markers, the signing of an agreement on Vietnam – Laos border and border marker management regulations, and a Protocol on Vietnam – Laos borderline and border markers.
Along with bilateral cooperation framework, the fraternal solidarity has been reflected at regional and global forums such as the United Nations, ASEAN and sub-regional cooperation, contributing to improving each country’s prestige and stature in the region and the world.
According to the diplomat, the two nations will give the top priority to lifting Vietnam – Laos traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation to a greater height, considering ties between the two Parties as crucial and the tightening of political ties and mutual trust as a pillar in bilateral relations.
About the significance of the Deputy PM Minh’s attendance at the fourth Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on MLC from December 16-17 with the participation of six coastal countries of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and China, Hung said it manifests Vietnam’s appreciation for MLC mechanism, affirms Vietnam’s role in Mekong sub-regional cooperation and the country’s promotion of contents matching her interests.
At the invitation of Lao Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith, Deputy PM, FM Minh will pay an official visit to Laos and co-chair the fifth ministerial-level political consultation from December 18-19. It will afford both sides a chance to review ties between the two foreign ministries over the past years, outline orientations to bilateral links in 2019, and share experience in external relations, he said.VNA