Nurturing Vietnam-Laos special solidarity

Tuesday, 2017-02-07 04:20:54
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Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (L) and his Lao counterpart Thongloun Sisoulith at their meeting on November 23, 2016 on the sidelines of the ninth Summit of the Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam Development Triangle Area in Siem Reap, Cambodia. (Photo: VNA)
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NDO—Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith led a Government delegation to arrive in Hanoi today to attend and co-chair the 39th meeting of the Vietnam-Laos Intergovernmental Committee at the invitation of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

Coming at a time when the two countries are making every effort to realise the 12th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam and the 10th National Congress of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP), the Lao PM’s working visit to Vietnam is an important political event as it furthers reaffirming the two countries’ foreign policy priorities in developing their traditional bilateral friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation. It also aims to increase mutual political trust and direct the implementation of high-level agreements to boost Vietnam-Laos collaborative ties in the coming time.

The Lao people are actively bringing the resolution of LPRP’s 10th National Congress and the eighth socio-economic development plan, for the 2016-2020 period, into life, with the aim of lifting the country out of underdevelopment by 2020 and reaching a per capita GDP of US$3,300.

With its renewal policy, Laos has maintained its independence; stabilised its security, defence and political situation; ensured social order and safety; and developed its economy. The country posted an economic growth rate of 7% in 2016 and an average income per capita of nearly US$2,000 per year. Significant progress has also been seen in reducing poverty, developing cultural and social activities, consolidating the political system and democratic régime, increasing people’s trust in the country’s bright future and lifting its position and prestige in the regional and international arena, particularly when Laos successfully fulfilled its role as ASEAN Chair last year.

Affinities in geography and history have created close bond between Vietnam and Laos for generations. The traditional bilateral friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation, nurtured by President Ho Chi Minh, President Kaysone Phomvihane and the leaders and peoples of the two countries, have become invaluable assets for the two Parties and peoples.

Relations between the two member states of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) have continuously nurtured, strengthened and developed in a broader, more effective and substantive manner in all fields ranging from politics, security, defence, trade and investment to education and training, agriculture and culture. In 2016, high-ranking leaders of the Vietnamese and Lao Parties and States maintained regular visits and exchanges, contributing to consolidating and fostering the political ties and mutual trust. Bilateral cooperation in economics, energy and transport have also recorded remarkable achievements.

In 2017, the two countries have positively organised activities to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic ties and the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Vietnam-Laos Treaty of Amity and Cooperation. The two sides have also been active in exchanging information and coordinating on regional and international issues, such as ASEAN, the sub-regional cooperation framework and the United Nations.

The 39th meeting of the Vietnam-Laos Intergovernmental Committee, scheduled in Hanoi on February 8, is the first meeting of its kind to be co-chaired by the Prime Ministers of the two countries, in order to provide direct instructions to the Committee on Bilateral Co-operation as well as relevant ministries, sectors, localities and businesses to implement high-level agreements and reach an agreement on the plan for co-operation between the two countries for 2017.

The outcomes of Lao PM Thongloun Sisoulith’s visit to Vietnam will contribute to reinforcing mutual trust between leaders of the two countries while tightening and deepening their traditional bilateral friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation, meeting the interests of the two peoples for peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world at large.