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Vientiane, Hanoi agree to foster trade relations
Son Nguyen 18:26, 2023/07/04
In 2022, Hanoi's exports to Laos rose 20% from the previous year to US$200 million.

Vientiane hopes Hanoi will continue to help Lao producers export their products to Hanoi and the international market, said Vanmany Phimmasan, director of Vientiane's Department of Industry and Trade, on July 3.

Lao products on display at an event in Hanoi in November 2022. Photo: Hoai Nam/The Hanoi Times

She said Vientiane authorities expect their counterparts in Hanoi to organize trade promotions in Laos, such as the craft village promotion program held last April.

Such activities will allow businesses and handicraft villages on both sides to develop further, Vanmany said.

She also expected Vietnamese businesses in Hanoi to invest and expand their operations in Laos' key sectors of agriculture and processing and to transfer technologies to Lao producers.

The Lao official also hoped the two cities would effectively and proactively implement their 2022-2025 partnership agreement signed in Vientiane on November 4, 2022.

She also highly valued the long-term and close relationship between Vietnam and Laos and thanked the Hanoi authorities for sharing valuable knowledge and practices in management and administration.

In response, Tran Thi Phuong Lan, Acting Director of Hanoi's Department of Industry and Trade, said that the relationship between the two capitals not only brings economic value on a win-win basis but also strengthens the friendship between the two countries.

She said the visit of a Hanoi delegation led by Phung Thi Hong Ha, vice chairwoman of the Hanoi People's Council, led to the successful trade promotion event in April 2023.

"Vietnamese companies and their Laotian counterparts signed 13 MoUs, opening up new opportunities for the two sides to expand trade in crafts, materials, and products," she said.

"Laos has the advantage of developing industries and commercial activities, especially handicraft villages. That is why we are willing to share our practices and experiences as a cooperation partner with Vientiane in the development of industry and trade," Lan said.

At the meeting, Vietnamese and Lao delegates discussed the solutions to improve the management of trade and industry, enhance the quality of labor, stabilize the market, promote trade, develop the One Commune - One Product (OCOP) program and the material production zone, and facilitate goods circulation and services.

The officials also discussed the future development of handicraft villages and handicrafts, focusing on environmental protection and training Lao craftsmen in Hanoi on trade skills.

In addition, the two capitals agreed to continue implementing the cooperation agreement signed in early November 2022 to boost bilateral trade relations.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic and its effects, trade between Hanoi and Lao localities has increased in recent years. In 2022, Hanoi's exports to Laos increased by one-fifth from the previous year to US$200 million.

The main exports from Hanoi to Laos were minerals, mechanics and machinery, and electronic and computer components, which accounted for 5.3%-14.8% of the total.

On the other hand, Hanoi imported US$211 million worth of Lao products, up 12.6% year-on-year. Most of the imports were agricultural products, fertilizers, and food, which made up 6-14.7% of the total.

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