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Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Lao counterpart Somsavad Lengsavat on November 2 co-chaired a conference on economic and investment cooperation between Vietnam’s Central Highlands and southcentral provinces and Laos’ central and southern provinces.
As many as 80 representatives of Vietnamese investors in Laos and delegates from ministries, agencies and localities from both countries attended the event in Quy Nhon city, Binh Dinh province, which was aimed at tackling barriers for Vietnamese firms in Laos.
Up to now, Laos has granted investment license to 423 Vietnamese-funded projects with a combined capitalization of around US$5 billion which ranks second among foreign investors in the country.
Investment from Vietnamese businesses in central and southern provinces of Laos makes up 95% of Vietnam’s total foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country.
By the end of September, the two-way trade turnover between Vietnam and Laos reached nearly US$1 billion, with 82% of the figure went to Central Highlands and southcentral provinces.
Vietnamese-invested projects in Laos have helped the country increase budget collection, boost economic growth and generate about 300,000 jobs.
Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said the two governments should issue incentive policies for investors in disadvantaged regions particularly in border areas.
He drew participants’ attention to infrastructure upgrade, particularly power generation and transmission, water supply, and irrigation network.
Meanwhile, Deputy PM Phuc highlighted huge cooperation potential between Laos and Vietnam in the fields of agro-forestry, energy, mineral processing, and tourism development. Vietnam has many advantages in seaports, tourism, and financial capacity, and this will help businesses increase two-way trade and foster bilateral tourism cooperation, he underscored.
Phuc stressed the need to provide more support for Vietnamese and Lao firms and maintain regular dialogue mechanism between the two countries. It is also essential to speed up the completion of agreements related to trade and investment, create a legal framework, and give financial assistance to investment projects of both sides, he noted.
The Deputy PM asked Vietnamese and Lao companies to take social responsibility, pay attention to job creation, apply advanced technologies, protect the environment, reduce poverty rate, and ensure social welfare.
Authorities of border provinces should promote information exchange, and diversify cooperation models in order to make full use of advantages, Phuc suggested.
A comprehensive cooperation agreement between Binh Dinh Youth Union of Vietnam and Laos’ Champacsak Youth Union was signed on this occasion.
Six Vietnamese firms also donated 140 computers to Laos’ central and southern provinces.