Top leaders' Laos visit aims to consolidate bilateral special relationship
19:42 | 22/02/2019
VGP – Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong’s official visit  to Laos is expected to further consolidate and enhance the great friendship, special solidarity, trust, and comprehensive cooperation with the neighboring country.

The visit, scheduled from February 24-25, demonstrates Viet Nam’s consistent policy of attaching special importance and giving high priority to advancing the bilateral ties.

Over the past years, the two countries have effectively implemented high-level agreements and cooperation contents adopted at the meetings of the Intergovernmental Committee for Bilateral Cooperation.

Increasingly strong political relation and trust play the core role guiding the bilateral cooperation while security-defense and diplomacy is a key pillar of the two countries’ relationship.

The two sides have gradually handled undocumented migration and marriage along the shared border and coordinated in searching and repatriating remains of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers and experts who laid down their lives in Laos. According to statistics, as many as remains of 233 Vietnamese volunteer soldiers were repatriated to homeland between 2017 and 2018.

On economic front, the two sides have effectively realized newly signed trade agreement, contributing to raise the two-way trade to nearly US$ 1 billion in 2018.

As of December last year, Viet Nam had 409 investment projects worth US$ 4.1 billion in Laos, focusing on such fields like power generation, logistics and services.

Viet Nam has mainly shipped oil and gas, fertilizers, steel, machinery, electric equipment, construction materials to Laos and imported rubber, timber, livestock among others.

Regarding transport, Viet Nam and Laos have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on transport cooperation strategy for the 2016-2020 period and stepped up bilateral and regional transport connectivity projects, including 725km Ha Noi-Vientiane highway.

The two countries also agreed to complete negotiations and sign a deal on constructing a railway connecting Vientiane and Nghe An’s Vung Ang Seaport. They will also boost the implementation of an agreement on developing three wharfs at the seaport.

A few years ago, the two countries inked an agreement on using this port, with the establishment in 2011 of the Lao-Viet International Port JSC in charge of using the port’s three wharfs to transport goods to Laos.

Both sides have paid great attention to improve the quality of education cooperation. Last year, Viet Nam offered 1,271 scholarships to Laos, raising the total figure to 14,686./.

By Quang Minh

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