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Vietnam, Laos strengthen investment cooperation
Thanh Thanh 15:35, 2024/01/07
Laos looks forward to continued exploration and investment by Vietnamese companies in sectors where the former excels, including clean agriculture, agro-processing, mining, and clean energy.

Vietnam and Laos must persist in their efforts to achieve breakthroughs, initiate fresh cooperation projects, and effectively implement the agreements endorsed by the Vietnamese and Laotian Politburos. This is crucial for achieving substantial and effective cooperation.

 Lao Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone (left) and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh chair the conference. Photos: VGP

Lao Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone gave his remarks at the Vietnam-Laos Investment Cooperation Conference in Hanoi on January 7, which he co-chaired with Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

The conference took place on the occasion of his official visit to Vietnam and in conjunction with co-chairing the 46th Meeting of the Vietnam-Laos Intergovernmental Committee. 

Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone expressed hope that Vietnamese businesses will continue to invest in Laos, particularly in sectors where Laos excels, including clean agriculture, agro-processing, mining, and clean energy.

Siphandone said that the Lao Government would continue to develop and improve policies to encourage investment and remove barriers to business and develop plans for 12 economic and industrial zones across the country.

He appreciated the importance of the conference and strongly agreed with the assessments of investment and business conditions in Laos, acknowledging the difficulties raised and the proposed measures to help businesses overcome challenges and develop.

Prime Minister Siphandone believed that the growth of Vietnamese businesses investing in Laos in recent times has contributed to boosting development, achieving socio-economic goals and building an independent Lao economy.

He said that as Laos assumes the ASEAN chairmanship in 2024 with the theme "Enhancing Connectivity and Resilience", the Lao government expects the support of Vietnam and the Vietnamese business community to fulfill its role successfully. Laos also hoped to welcome more Vietnamese people to visit Laos, especially in the year of Visit Laos 2024.

For his part, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh stressed that the special friendship and all-round cooperation between Vietnam and Laos are developing well in all fields.

Among them, economic and investment cooperation between the two countries is strategically important and needs to be prioritized to harness its unique potential and contribute to building an independent, self-reliant, proactive and actively internationally integrated economy for each country, he stressed.

Conference delegates discussed investment environments and policies in Vietnam and Laos, evaluated past cooperation results, addressed challenges faced by Vietnamese businesses in Laos, and explored future investment opportunities in various sectors.

They highlighted the positive results of investment cooperation between Vietnam and Laos. Vietnam currently runs 241 investment projects in Laos with a total registered capital of US$5.47 billion. Laos consistently ranks first among the 80 countries and territories receiving Vietnamese outbound investment.
Vietnam, as a result, remains among the top three countries with the largest direct investment in Laos. Many Vietnamese business projects have been operating effectively and actively contributing to Laos' socio-economic development. However, these results have not yet matched the potential and good relations between the two countries, the delegates noted.

Handing over investment licenses at the conference.

In 2023, Vietnam's investment capital in Laos reached $116.6 million, marking a 65.3% increase compared to 2022. The accumulated investment capital has now reached approximately $2.75 billion. Over the past five years, businesses have contributed around $200 million annually in taxes and other financial obligations. The total contribution from 2015 until now is approximately $1.7 billion, including a $150 million contribution to social welfare initiatives.

At the conference, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and Lao Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone witnessed a ceremony for the handing over of investment licenses and the signing of investment cooperation agreements between agencies, investors, and enterprises from Vietnam and Laos in the fields of finance, agriculture, and mineral exploitation.

On January 6, during talks between the Prime Ministers of Laos and Vietnam, a ceremony was held to sign four cooperation documents.

These included a Protocol on Border Cooperation between the Vietnamese and Lao Ministries of Defense, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Cooperation Plan between the Government Office of Vietnam and the Office of the Prime Minister of Laos for the period 2024-2025, the MoU on Development and Connectivity of Border Trade Infrastructure between the Vietnamese and Lao Governments, and the Cooperation Plan for 2024 between the Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training and the Lao Ministry of Education and Sports.

TAG: Vietnam news Hanoi news Vietnam Laos cooperation
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