Vietnam tightens relations with Cambodia, Laos

09:04 | 13/05/2017 Vietnam - Asean

(VEN) - Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc led a delegation of high-ranking government officials on visits to the Kingdom of Cambodia from April 24 to 25 and the People’s Democratic Republic of Laos from April 26 to 27.

vietnam tightens relations with cambodia laos

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Cambodian counterpart Samdech Techo Hun Sen preside over the inauguration of the bridge between the two provinces of An Giang (Vietnam) and and Kandal (Cambodia)

These were PM Phuc’s first visits to Vietnam’s two next-door neighbors, highlighting the friendship, cooperation and solidarity with them.

PM Phuc discussed with his Cambodian counterpart Samdech Techo Hun Sen and Lao counterpart Thongloun Sisoulith measures to enhance the effectiveness of Vietnam’s economic cooperation and trade with the two countries.

Cambodia and Vietnam, marking 50 years of diplomatic relations, agreed to continue boosting cooperation in education and training, border trade, tourism, telecommunications, aviation, banking, oil and gas, rubber, agriculture and electric energy. They set a target of growing annual trade to US$5 billion in the near future.

In this spirit, the two PMs pledged to encourage businesses to invest in and expand operations in each other’s markets while ensuring their legal interests. They agreed to increase coordination in the struggle against smuggling and counterfeiting and complete necessary procedures to build a market model in the Cambodian commune of Da in Memot District of Tbong Khmum Province.

vietnam tightens relations with cambodia laos

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (left) presents a Vietnamese-Lao, Lao-Vietnamese dictionary to his Lao counterpart - Photo: VGP/Quang Hieu

The two PMs presided over the inauguration of a bridge between Vietnam’s An Giang Province and Cambodia’s Kandal Province, with the attendance of more than 13,000 people from the two countries. The bridge will be the shortest way connecting Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, to Vietnam, facilitating transport and contributing to economic development, as well as hunger eradication and poverty reduction in border areas that still face numerous difficulties.

During his visit to Laos, PM Phuc had talks with his Lao counterpart Thongloun Sisoulith, the General Secretary of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party and President of Laos, Bounnhang Vorachith, the Chairwoman of the Lao National Assembly, Pany Yathoutu, and the Vice President of Laos and permanent member of the Secretariat of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, Dr. Phankham Viphavanh.

The two sides agreed to strive to increase this year’s bilateral trade by 10 percent compared with 2016, and continue efforts to enhance the complementary relationship between the two economies, especially in telecommunications, energy and transport. Specifically, they agreed on new investment projects and effective implementation of ongoing ones, such as upgrading Viettel’s 4G telecommunication network, e-government, power network development, and rubber planting projects.

At a meeting with Vietnamese companies investing in Laos, PM Phuc praised their efforts to overcome difficulties in the investment process to achieve encouraging results. He praised businesses and investors who took the initiative in changing the way of doing business to achieve higher effectiveness and contribute to economic cooperation between Vietnam and Laos. The PM and leaders of ministries pledged to put in place appropriate policies which will facilitate Vietnamese investment in Laos, especially in high-tech agriculture, services and energy.

The two PMs co-chaired a ceremony to launch the Vietnam-Laos Solidarity and Friendship Year 2017. In his speech, PM Thongloun Sisoulith said this was a good occasion to tell the world about the importance of the traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Laos, and expressed his willingness and determination to bring bilateral relations to new heights.

The success of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s official visits to Cambodia and Laos was reflected in the signing of 13

cooperation documents covering a wide range of fields, from transport to trade, education and training, labor, energy,

agriculture, fisheries, and cooperation between localities.

Thanh Thanh