January 9, 2012
Laos and Vietnam have agreed to further socio-economic, scientific and technological cooperation in 2012.
Laos-Vietnam Cooperation Commission Chairman Somsavat Lengsavad and Vietnam-Laos Cooperation Commission Chairman Nguyen Xuan Phuc jointly signed the cooperation document on Saturday at the conclusion of the 34th joint meeting of the commissions in Vientiane.
Both sides agreed to focus on implementing the two countries’ trade development programme for the period 2008-2015, aiming for trade volume of US$1 billion this year.
In the transport sector, the two countries will push for the completion this year of Road R2 from Khua district in Phongsaly province to the Tay Trang border crossing, and will seek funding for the construction of other major road links.
Strategic cooperation projects in Huaphanh and Xieng Khuang provinces are also on track for completion this year, with about 10 other projects set to be concluded countrywide.
With regard to socio-cultural activities, both sides agreed to fully implement the statements and agreements agreed upon for the Year of Laos-Vietnam Friendship and Solidarity in 2012.
Mr Somsavat and Mr Phuc also signed the meeting minutes.
As of October 2011, Vietnam has operated 424 investment projects in Laos valued at US$3.57 billion and ranks second of 52 countries investing in Laos. Many of these projects have been completed and are now operational.
As of November 2011, trade volume between the two countries reached US$636 million, an increase of 48 percent compared to 2010. Lao exports to Vietnam reached US$397 million, while imports were valued at US$239 million.
In addition, the two countries’ ministries, branches and localities have shared in activities relating to culture, sports, museums and other fields.
At the meeting, both sides signed agreements on cooperation strategies for the period 2011-2020, a cooperation agreement for 2011-2015, and an agreement for cooperation in improving education and human resource development for the period 2011 to 2020.