Strengthening Vietnam-Laos cooperation and investment

March 22, 2022 | 14:26
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The Vietnam-Laos business seminar has taken place in Vientianne, co-chaired by Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung and Laos Minister of Planning and Investment Khamchen Vongphosy, during which several bilateral agreements were signed.
Strengthening Vietnam-Laos cooperation and investment
Minister Nguyen Chi Dung speaking at the seminar

The event took place on March 21 and was the first of Minister Nguyen Chi Dung's 3-day visit to Laos.

Speaking at the seminar, the minister said that this is a special event to strengthen the friendship, solidarity, and cooperation of the two countries, following on from the meeting in Hanoi in January between the general secretaries of Vietnam and Laos.

It cements the connection between the two economies on the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and 45 years since the signing of the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation between Vietnam and Laos.

The event aims to fulfil the tasks assigned by the prime ministers of Vietnam and Laos at the 44th meeting of the Inter-Governmental Committee on bilateral cooperation.

“There is a requirement for us to set higher goals and to innovate to make the bilateral economic cooperation and investment more substantive and effective," said Minister Dung.

Regarding the investment cooperation of the two countries, Minister Dung noted the performance of Vietnam's businesses in Laos that has contributed to socioeconomic development and created jobs to improve the incomes of thousands of employees. He also highlighted the increased revenues for the Laos state budget.

The contribution in tax and other financial obligations from Vietnamese enterprises to Laos over the last five years is estimated to be more than $1 billion.

Strengthening Vietnam-Laos cooperation and investment
The two ministers listening to recommendations and signing agreements

Key cooperation agreements signed

At the seminar, Minister Dung highly appreciated that a number of large enterprises of the two countries discussed and proposed to sign agreements on cooperation in research and investment.

Regarding the orientation to promote investment cooperation between the two countries, Minister Dung has outlined several solutions to implement.

"We need specific mechanisms for the economic cooperation relationship between the two countries, enhancing access and mobilising resources from development partners to jointly participate in large projects that for example connect the infrastructure of both countries," emphasised Minister Dung.

Along with that, the Lao side is asked to remove difficulties in the implementation of large-scale projects.

Minister Dung also said that the two countries need to work together within ASEAN and trade agreements, effectively combining with Vietnam's international integration, so that goods of both countries can enter the other markets and attract quality investment capital from these partners.

At the seminar, several important agreements were signed under the witness of the two ministers, including the agreement on implementing the construction of Vientiane-Vung Ang Railway between FLC Group and Petroleum Trading Lao Public Company and an agreement on cooperation in the energy sector between T&T Group and Phongsubthavy Group.

According to Vietnam's Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), investment cooperation between Vietnam and Laos has grown continuously over the past time. Laos ranks first among 78 countries and territories that Vietnam invests abroad with 209 projects, with the total registered investment of $5.1 billion. In 2021, investment capital from Vietnam to Laos reached $118.3 million, up 33.3 per cent on-year.

By Nguyen Huong

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