National Assembly (NA) Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue made the statement during talks held on December 6 with Saysomphone Phomvihane, Politburo member of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP) and Chairman of the National Assembly, who is paying an official visit to Vietnam.
The talks came following a welcome ceremony for the top Laotian legislator and his entourage.
During discussion, NA Chairman Hue expressed his great appreciation for his Laotian counterpart for having chosen the country as the first place to visit in his role as Chairman of the Laos NA and as the first international delegation to visit the Vietnamese NA following a long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The trip therefore represents an important milestone in continuing to consolidate and promote the strong ties of friendship, special solidarity, and comprehensive co-operation between the two Parties, States, and citizens. This is along with boosting links between the two NAs in a more practical and effective manner.
The Vietnamese side has always wholeheartedly supported Laotian renewal, and its national defence and construction process, NA Chairman Hue emphasised.
In response, the leading Laotian legislator said he believes that his visit will continue to tighten and ramp up the great friendship, special solidarity, and all-around co-operation between the two Parties, States, and peoples of both Laos and Vietnam.
He therefore thanked the Party, NA, Government, local administrations, and the Vietnamese people for their timely support and help through medical equipment worth more than US$6.3 million to Laos, thereby making an important contribution to pandemic prevention and control in the neighbouring country. In 2020, despite facing plenty of difficulties, the nation donated more than VND930 billion to Laos as a means of helping them to boost socio-economic development locally.
The two NA leaders also agreed that political-diplomatic relations of both sides on all channels have been constantly tightened through the successful organisation of a series official friendship visits by senior leaders.
Most notably, co-operation in defence, security, trade, investment, energy, transport connection, education and training, mutual support in the fight against COVID-19, along with co-operation between localities and people-to-people exchanges have continued to be strengthened.
Despite the two countries facing serious challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Laotian NA Chairman said he was pleased to see that the total trade turnover between the two countries this year reach US$948 million, an increase of 28% compared to the same period from last year.
Vietnamese investment in Laos ranks third among 54 countries currently investing in the Laotian market, with 409 projects boasting a total value of US$1.9 billion, of which many major and important projects are underway as planned.
Regarding the relationship between the two legislative bodies in recent times, both leaders showed elation at the comprehensive co-operative relationship between the two NAs which is developing very well. The two legislatures have effectively implemented the Cooperation Agreement signed back in 2017, with various co-operation activities, such as exchanging delegations at all levels among senior leaders, organising seminars with in-depth contents, sharing experience in law-making work, and co-ordinating in monitoring agreements signed between the two countries.
Host and guest therefore consented to strengthening exchanges between the Friendship Parliamentary Groups and the Young NA deputies' group in association with organising seminars on performing the role of the legislative body. They pledged to intensify the exchange of delegations of the People's Councils of provinces and centrally-run cities, especially provinces that share a border and those which have been twinned together.
The pair therefore underlined the necessity of continuing to promote the Vietnam-Laos-Cambodia trilateral co-operation mechanism on the Trilateral Development Triangle as a means of making it more practical. They agreed to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the diplomatic relations (1962 - 2022), and 45 years of the signing of the Vietnam-Laos Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (1977- 2022).
Both leaders stated their wish that the two countries’ legislative bodies would launch a broad array of activities aimed at celebrating the Year of Friendship and Solidarity between Vietnam – Laos and Laos – Vietnam ahead in 2022.
They agreed to continue working closely at regional and international inter-parliamentary forums, such as the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF), and the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie (APF).
Moving forward, they will hold meetings on the sidelines of conferences, along with co-ordinating and comparing notes on international and regional issues of shared concern.
As part of the occasion, the two NA leaders witnessed a ceremony aimed at handing over medical equipment worth US$1million by the Vietnamese NA to its Lao counterpart in support of the their ongoing COVID-19 containment efforts.