|Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (R) receives Lao Deputy Foreign Minister Khamphau Ernthavan(Photo: VNA)
During the visit, the Deputy PM is due to attend the fourth Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Mekong-Lancang Cooperation (MLC), pay an official visit to Laos, and co-chair the fifth ministerial-level political consultation between the two countries.
Through high-level visits and exchanges, the two nations’ Party and State leaders have reached important and strategic agreements to outline orientations for long-term bilateral ties.
The forthcoming visit will give both sides a chance to review cooperation between the two foreign ministries over the past years, and share experience in external relations, Hung said.
In terms of economics, Vietnam remains one of the biggest investors and major trade partners of Laos with many Vietnam enterprises having built welfare facilities such as schools, hospitals and roads to reduce poverty and improve intellectual standards in Laos. There has been stronger connectivity between the two economies, especially in infrastructure and transportation, he said.
He expressed his belief that Laos will become an important transit hub in Southeast Asia on the back of broader cooperation with Vietnam and regional nations.
In education, both sides launched a project on improving the quality and efficiency of Vietnam – Laos coordination in education and human resources development for the 2011-2020 period. Vietnam annually provides 1,000 short-term and long-term training courses to Laos with more than 14,600 Lao students studying in Vietnam while hundreds of Vietnamese students are pursuing education in Laos.
Bilateral defence-security have been reinforced with the completion of a project on the upgrading of Vietnam – Laos national border markers, the signing of an agreement on Vietnam – Laos border and border marker management regulations, and a Protocol on Vietnam – Laos borderline and border markers.
The two nations have also further fostered the fraternal solidarity at regional and global forums such as the United Nations, ASEAN and sub-regional cooperation, contributing to improving each country’s prestige and stature in the region and the world, Hung said.
They have showed their determination to take Vietnam – Laos traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation to a higher level, while regarding ties between the two Parties as crucial and the tightening of political ties and mutual trust as a pillar in bilateral relations.
Regarding the significance of the Deputy PM Minh’s attendance at the fourth Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on MLC from December 16-17 with six coastal countries of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and China in attendance, the diplomat said it signifies Vietnam’s appreciation for MLC mechanism, affirming Vietnam’s role in Mekong sub-regional cooperation.