Through great political cooperation, Vietnam and Laos have developed thriving bilateral economic relations in various fields.
|Vietnamese companies have been eager to invest in Laos, sharing technical knowhow and supporting development |
According to Nguyen Ba Hung, Vietnamese Ambassador to Laos, Vietnam is one of the three largest investors in Laos with 415 investment projects worth $4.4 billion, focusing on finance and banking, electricity, telecommunications, agro-forestry, and mining. Many projects have made great strides, contributing to local socio-economic development.
The projects invested by Vietnamese enterprises not only generate employment but also promote sustainable development and maintain national security. Hoang Anh Gia Lai's projects have created jobs for about 20,000 people in Laos while Unitel, Viettel's brand in Laos, employs more than 25,000 workers. Vietnamese enterprises have invested $77 million to support social development with a particular focus on health, education, and housing for the poor in remote areas.
In addition, Vietnamese companies also support the Lao government in accelerating digital transformation. Unitel supports the development of local e-government infrastructure with the total investment capital of $3.3 million. The company has donated $27 million in free internet for nearly 1,000 schools as well as contributed to the training of skilled workforce for the telecommunications sector.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Vietnamese enterprises have made substantial donations to support the Lao government's fight against the pandemic, including over $500,000 from Unitel, $100,000 from Hoang Anh Gia Lai, over $10,000 from LaoVietBank, and over $22,000 by Sakai Mining.
In addition,the bilateral trade between Vietnam and Laos has grown steadily in the 2016-2020 period with the trade turnover reaching over $1 billion a year. In the first five months of 2021, the bilateral trade turnover reached $570.7 million, up 39.3 per cent over the same period in 2020. Vietnam's export turnover to Laos was nearly $280.3 million and its imports from Laos reached over $290.4 million, up 23.5 and 58.9 per cent on-year, respectively.