July 6, 2013
After an official visit to Belarus, President Choummaly Sayasone and his delegation arrived in Vientiane yesterday after notable diplomatic achievements which set the path for greater cooperation between the two countries in the future.
Among the significant successes are the fact that the president and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko reaffirmed their willingness to expand cooperation in economic and trade matters based on each other’s potential, according to the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In this regard, both sides agreed to work together to bolster cooperation in investment, the machinery industry, agricultural processing, crude oil, pharmacy and chemistry, as well as science and technology.
To stimulate greater cooperation, the respective parties aim to bring about conditions to facilitate economic and trade relations and explore joint-venture production operations. In practical support, 10 agreements were signed following talks between the two heads-of-state.
The documents signed included agreements on visa-free travel for diplomats and official passport holders, on promotion and mutual protection of investments, on the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income and property. Other agreements pertain to cooperation in research and development and education, according to the Belarusian Telegraph Agency (BTA).
The leaders agreed on the mutual participation of Belarusian and Lao enterprises in the state programmes of the two countries. They will also make use of the newly-established Laos-Belarus Joint Cooperation Commission to boost bilateral relations.
The two leaders highly value their countries’ traditionally friendly relations. They also reached consensus to extend mutual support to one another in regional and international arenas.
In the legislative field, the leaders shared a commitment to increase cooperation between legislative bodies through exchange visits by delegations from their respective national assemblies.
During the visit to Belarus, the Lao president and his entourage toured some important places in the country including the Minsk Automobile Plant and a military academy.
President Choummaly also had meetings with Belarusian Prime Minster Mikhail Myasnikovich as well as high-level congressmen of the Belarusian parliament. On this occasion, President Choummaly invited President Lukashenko and Prime Minister Myasnikovich to visit Laos in the future.
Officials of both sides will also organise activities to mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Laos and Belarus.
There has been considerable diplomatic activity between the two countries in recent times. Early last month, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Thongloun Sisoulith led a delegation paying an official visit to Belarus.
On that occasion, both sides signed a memorandum of understanding to establish the Joint Cooperation Commission between Laos and Belarus. Late last month, Belarusian Economy Minister, Mr Mikalay Snapkow, led a delegation to visit Laos.