Top Vietnamese and Lao leaders today attended the 60th anniversary of the Vietnam-Laos diplomatic ties (September 5, 1962-2022) and 45 years of the Vietnam-Laos Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (July 18, 1977-2022).
The celebrations held in Hanoi on July 18 saw the attendance of General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, Chairman of the National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue, and Lao Vice President Bounthong Chitmany.
|General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong speaks at the ceremony held in Hanoi on July 18. Photo: VNA|
Addressing the event, Nguyen Phu Trong said: “As the two close neighbors sharing the Mekong River, leaning against the Truong Son mountain range, Vietnam and Laos have a tradition of relations, harmony, and close emotional attachment to each other throughout the history of building and defending their respective countries.”
Vietnamese and Lao high-ranking officials are on their visits they exchange to each other country to attend the commemorations and discuss further cooperation. While Bounthong Chitmany is in Vietnam, Permanent Member of the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat Vo Van Thuong is paying a visit to Laos.
The General Secretary affirmed the fact that the comprehensive relationship is built in the spirit of equality and respect for independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, respect for each other’s legitimate interests, and non-interference in internal affairs.
He said the special relationship is painstakingly built, nurtured and preserved with the sweat, effort and blood of generations of soldiers and people of the two countries, truly becoming an invaluable asset for both.
Laid by Vietnamese President Ho Chi Minh and Lao President Kaysone Phomvihane and President Souphanouvong, the Vietnam-Laos relationship is “unique in the world,” he emphasized.
|Lao Vice President Bounthong Chitmany delivers a speech at the ceremony. Photos: VGP|
Lao Vice President Bounthong Chitmany said the relationship is strengthened by the common drive of fighting against the enemy for the freedom and prosperity of the two peoples.
According to Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son, Vietnam-Lao relations are prioritized in Hanoi’s foreign policy as they are regarded as contributors to the independence and development of Vietnam.
|Top Vietnamese and Lao leaders at the event.|
Apart from political ties which are built by sincerity and trust, Vietnam and Laos have maintained close economic relations. Vietnam granted Laos free port privileges in its Vung Ang Port in the central province of Thanh Hoa for trade and sea transportation and helps Laos become one of the logistics hubs in the Mekong Sub-region and Southeast Asia.
Granting Laos port facilities demonstrates Vietnam’s special assistance to Laos and shows special cooperation in the world’s foreign affairs.
To support the economic ties, the two countries put emphasis on the connection on roads, railways, cooperation in energy, telecommunications, digital economy, and finance banking.
In the 2016-2020 period, the two-way trade increased by an average of 10% per year. In 2021, bilateral trade rose 33.3% to US$1.37 billion. Meanwhile, Vietnam’s investment in Laos reached $5.33 billion in 214 projects, mainly in hydropower, infrastructure, aviation, finance-banking, telecommunications, and agriculture.
One of the key pillars in the relations is defense-security. The two countries vow to keep the borderline safe and secure for the development of both sides, especially boundary areas.
Education training is another field of priority with dozens of thousands of Lao students and officials trained in Vietnam, many of them become high-ranking officials and experts contributing to the relationship between the two countries.
The cooperation is strengthened multilaterally with mutual support at international forums namely the United Nations, ASEAN, Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS), Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam Development Triangle (CLV), Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Vietnam Cooperation (CLMV), the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS), among others.
For enhanced ties, the two ministries of foreign affairs focus on cooperation in the 2021-2025 period on a wide range of issues, including economic diplomacy, cultural diplomacy, keeping borderline safe and secured for development, training diplomats, and sharing experiences in international forums.
|Part of the ceremony.|