HÀ NỘI — Lao National Assembly Chairman Saysomphone Phomvihan on Monday held an official welcome ceremony for National Assembly Chairman Vương Đình Huệ, which was followed by dialogue between the two leaders.
Lao National Assembly Chairman Saysomphone Phomvihan warmly welcomed and appreciated the significance of the visit of National Assembly Chairman Huệ, which is the first official visit of a key Vietnamese leader to Laos in the “Year of Solidarity and Friendship” between Việt Nam and Laos. The year 2022 marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries and the 45th anniversary of the signing of the Việt Nam-Laos Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation.
This is also the highest-level delegation of a foreign National Assembly leader to visit Laos since the success of the 11th Congress of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party and the beginning of the 9th National Assembly term of Laos.
For his part, National Assembly Chairman Vương Đình Huệ congratulated the great and comprehensive achievements that the Lao Party, State and people have attained over the years, including the very important contribution of the Lao National Assembly.
Huệ affirmed that Việt Nam always wholeheartedly supports and accompanies Laos to overcome all difficulties and challenges, continue to develop sustainably, and to have an increasing role and position in the international arena.
The two leaders emphasised that, in the face of current complicated developments in the international and regional situation, Việt Nam and Laos clearly see the value of maintaining and cultivating the close, loyal and unique neighbourly relationship for the security and development of both.
The two National Assembly chairmen expressed their delight at the good development of the cooperative relationship between the two countries and the two National Assemblies. Overcoming difficulties and obstacles caused by the COVID-19 pandemic recently, the two sides have made joint efforts to maintain regular visits, high-level contacts and bilateral cooperation mechanisms on all channels.
Even in the context of the pandemic, the two sides still maintained the momentum of trade and investment development. Two-way import and export turnover in the first four months of 2022 reached US$558.2 million, an increase of 20.2 per cent over the same period in 2021. Việt Nam maintains its position as the third-largest direct investor in Laos, with 214 valid projects and total registered capital of about $5.33 billion.
The two sides agreed to work together to effectively implement agreements and results of recent high-level visits, including the Strategic Agreement on Cooperation between Việt Nam and Laos for the 2021-30 period and the agreement on bilateral co-operation between the two countries in the 2021-25 period.
They also agreed to continue to strengthen cooperation in defence, security and border cooperation to effectively deal with traditional and non-traditional security challenges; improve the efficiency of education-training cooperation and develop high-quality human resources; strengthen cooperation between localities, people-to-people exchanges and create more favourable conditions for citizens, nationals and businesses of each country to live, study and do business in each other’s territories and promote trade and investment cooperation.
Regarding the direction of cooperation in the future, the two sides agreed to promote the exchange of delegations and contacts between the leaders of the National Assembly and between committees of the National Assembly of the two countries, the Friendship Parliamentary Group, the Women’s National Assembly Deputies Group and the Group of young National Assembly deputies.
The two sides agreed to continue the tradition of close coordination and mutual support at international, regional and Mekong sub-regional forums, including inter-parliamentary forums such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (AIPA), the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF) and the Francophone Parliamentary Union (APF).
After the talks, National Assembly Chairman Vương Đình Huệ and Lao National Assembly Chairman Saysomphone Phomvihan signed a cooperation agreement between the National Assembly of Việt Nam and the National Assembly of Laos for the 2022-26 period; witnessed the signing ceremony and exchange of a number of cooperation documents, including the Cooperation Agreement between the Office of the National Assembly of Việt Nam and the Office of the National Assembly of Laos and the working minutes on electricity purchase from Laos.
At the meeting, National Assembly Chairman Huệ announced the presentation of computers, projectors and cameras to the Lao National Assembly Secretariat and computers, books, and some teaching equipment to the Champasak Provincial Boarding School, the Friendship School and the Vietnamese Association in the four southern provinces of Laos. — VNS
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