Vietnam and Laos target huge increase in 2015 trade turnover
VIENTIANE - President Truong Tan Sang met with Lao Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong yesterday and reached agreement on efforts to raise bilateral trade turnover to US$2 billion (S$2.74 billion) in 2015, up 40 per cent over the previous year.
The Lao government leader spoke highly of President Sang's visit, saying that it would make important contributions to consolidating and strengthening the time-honoured friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive co-operation between the two Parties, States and peoples.
He expressed his happiness at Viet Nam's development achievements, saying it had given the country an increasingly important role and position in the region and the world.
These achievements were a source of encouragement for the people of Laos in their own national construction and development efforts towards socialism, he said.
He thanked Viet Nam for the valuable support it has rendered to Laos, and pledged that he would do his utmost to deepen the all-round partnership between both nations.
Sang stressed that the Vietnamese Party, State and people always attached importance to and prioritised maintaining and developing their relationship with Laos.
At the meeting, the two sides discussed measures to realise goals set in signed agreements and those reached during the 37th meeting of the Viet Nam-Laos Inter-governmental Committee.
They agreed to issue policies to facilitate trade and investment co-operation and to speed up implementation of the one-stop-shop mechanism.
They also agreed on closer co-ordination in ensuring defence and security and combating crime, particularly those involving drug smuggling, trade fraud, and illegal migration.
Both sides would work towards an early completion of a project to increase and upgrade national border markers this year, the leaders said.
They also exchanged views on several regional and international issues, and pledged to collaborate closely at multilateral forums.
They reaffirmed their commitment to working with each other and with other ASEAN members to complete the formation of the ASEAN Community by the end of this year.
Viet Nam and Laos would intensify studies on sustainable and efficient use of Mekong River resources, it was agreed at the meeting.
President Sang asked the Lao leadership to continue creating favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community there.
Viet Nam would support Laos in its position as the Chair of ASEAN in 2016, he said.
Also yesterday, Sang met with Lao National Assembly Chairwoman Pany Yathotu.
They agreed to foster co-operation between the two countries through more high-level visits and meetings.
They said bilateral relations had developed in all areas, bringing practical benefits to the people of both nations.
Vietnamese and Lao parliamentarians should enhance co-ordination in managing and supervising investment co-operation projects between the two countries and promote further co-operation in human resources development, they said.
Sang welcomed Pany Yathotu's upcoming official visit to Viet Nam and her attendance at the 132nd Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU-132) Assembly, which will take place in Ha Noi later this month.
State President Truong Tan Sang met former Lao leaders in Vientiane yesterday as part of an ongoing visit to celebrate 60 years of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP), and the 40th anniversary of the Lao National Day.
In a meeting with former Lao President Khamtay Siphandone, President Sang praised Laos' achievements in recent years.
He said relations between the two countries had deepened, despite shifts in the region and the world.
The Lao former president suggested the two countries hold regular high-level meetings to keep up with developments and discuss topics of mutual concern.
He hailed the outcome of talks between State President Truong Tan Sang and LPRP General Secretary and State President Choummaly Sayasone.
He said he hoped Viet Nam would back Laos in holding successful political and socio-economic events.
Saman Vinhaket, former Chairman of the Lao National Assembly and Head of the Lao Steering Committee for Ideology, Theory and Culture said the visit was a great source of encouragement for the Lao Party and people.
He said Laos treasured the time-honoured friendship between the two countries, an invaluable asset for future generations.
Sang said he hoped the Lao Party and State would be able to meet their socio-economic targets and successfully organise all-level Party Congresses and the 10th National Party Congress.
The same day, President Sang visited the monument of late President Souphanouvong.
He wrote on the visitors' book that the Vietnamese Party, State and people would do their utmost to preserve and develop bilateral friendship.