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Vietnam-Laos to boost cooperation on trade, industry and energy
Ngoc Mai 14:16, 2021/04/27
Vietnam and Laos agreed to speed up the negotiation for the revision of the Vietnam – Laos Trade Agreement signed in 2015, with the target of completing it this year.

Vietnam and Laos would further boost cooperation on major issues, including trade, industry and energy, which serve as the foundation for stronger bilateral relations in the coming time.

 Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien (l) and Laos Ambassador to Vietnam Sengphet Houngboungnuang at the meeting. Photo: VGP

The information was revealed during a meeting between Vietnam’s Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien and Laos Ambassador to Vietnam Sengphet Houngboungnuang on April 26.

Minister Dien stressed the importance of maintaining the anti-coronavirus customs clearance model at border gates between the two countries, saying this is key to prevent disruption of trading activities during the pandemic.

In the coming time, Vietnam and Laos agreed to speed up the negotiation for the revision of the Vietnam – Laos Trade Agreement signed in 2015, with the target of completing it in 2021.

Meanwhile, the two sides would continue to urge respective government agencies to realize commitments set in the Vietnam – Laos Border Trade Agreement.

Dien and Sengphet also discussed measures to boost electricity sales between Vietnam and Laos, including a pricing mechanism for import of renewable energy and master plan for power transmission infrastructure, as well as credit source for the Hanoi-Vientiane expressway project.

In the first three months of 2021, bilateral trade turnover surged by 22.5% year-on-year to US$338.6 million, in which Vietnam’s exports to Laos rose by 6.4% to US$159.6 million, or 2.4% of the country’s total exports to ASEAN members.

Vietnam’s main exports to Laos include steel, transportation vehicles, machinery, and plastic products.

In return, Vietnam imported goods worth US$179 million from Laos, representing an increase of 41.7% year-on-year during the period.

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