HÀ NỘI — Lao Vice President Pany Yathotou began an official visit to Việt Nam on Tuesday, at the invitation of her Vietnamese counterpart Võ Thị Ánh Xuân.
The visit took place as the two countries celebrate the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations and the 45th anniversary of the Laos-Việt Nam Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation.
After the welcoming ceremony, the two leaders held talks at the Presidential Palace in Hà Nội.
On behalf of the Vietnamese Government, Vice President Xuân said this visit would be another move to consolidate the great friendship, special solidarity, and comprehensive cooperation between Việt Nam and Laos.
Congratulating the comprehensive achievements attained by the Lao Party, State and People in nearly half a century since the founding of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Vice President Xuân expressed her belief that Laos would successfully implement the Resolution of the 11th Congress of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party and the 9th Five-Year Socio-Economic Development Plan (in the 2021-26 period), have COVID-19 under control and soon recover socio-economic activities.
Expressing her pleasure to return to Việt Nam in the new position, the Lao Vice President thanked the Party, State and People of Việt Nam for the respectful, warm and friendly welcome for the delegation, which demonstrated the loyal comradeship and brotherhood between the two Parties, the two States and the two peoples of Laos and Việt Nam.
Congratulating and appreciating the results Việt Nam has achieved in the process of ‘đổi mới’, national development and international integration over the years, which is an important source of encouragement, inspiration, and lessons for Laos, Pany Yathotou expressed her gratitude for the valuable and timely support from Việt Nam in combating COVID-19.
Against the current complicated developments around the world, the two Vice Presidents emphasised the meaning and value of constantly bolstering the close and neighbourly relationship and special solidarity between Việt Nam and Laos for the security and development of each country, as well as for the sake of peace, stability, and cooperation in the region.
The two sides were delighted about the new developments in the cooperation relationship between the two countries.
Despite the pandemic, the two sides have made joint efforts to maintain regular delegation exchanges and high-level contacts, effectively promoted important bilateral cooperation mechanisms, and implemented cooperation agreements and plans in all important areas.
Economic cooperation between the two countries has been on the right track.
In the first three months of 2022, two-way trade reached US$403.6 million, up 19.22 per cent over the same period in 2021. Việt Nam currently has 214 valid investment projects in Laos, with a total capital of about $5.33 billion, which consolidates its position as the largest foreign direct investor in Laos.
The two sides agreed to continue to strengthen and improve the effectiveness of cooperation in defence and security, transportation, education and training, cultural and sports exchanges, and cooperation between localities; and affirmed their determination to lift the level of economic cooperation to be commensurate with the special relationship between the two countries.
Việt Nam and Laos leaders also concurred to continue to pay attention to resolving difficulties and obstacles that the two sides’ businesses faced, expanding ‘hard infrastructure’ connectivity in transportation, energy, telecommunications as well as ‘soft infrastructure’ for digital economic linkages, promoting border trade and continuing to address the issues of naturalisation for free immigrants.
The two Vice Presidents also spent time exchanging ideas on a number of international and regional issues of mutual concern, agreed to continue promoting the tradition of close coordination and mutual support at multilateral forums, especially the United Nations, ASEAN and the Mekong sub-regional cooperation mechanisms.
The two Vice Presidents affirmed that they would continue to make efforts together with member countries to constantly enhance the solidarity, unity and the central role of ASEAN, upholding the bloc’s principles, values and stance on issues that are directly related to regional peace and security, and strive to unify the viewpoint on settling disputes in the region and the world by peaceful means and international law.
On the occasion, Vice President Pany Yathotou invited Vice President Võ Thị Ánh Xuân to pay an official visit to Laos at an appropriate time and the Vietnamese Vice President gladly accepted the invitation.
The same day, the Lao leader paid a courtesy call to Vietnamese President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, where the two reaffirmed the meaning of bilateral ties and underlined the need to boost education and awareness raising efforts so that all people – especially the younger generation – will have a good understanding of this unique relationship. — VNS