Vietnam and Laos are among very few countries to have maintained in-person meetings and visits at the highest level given the pandemic, Vietnamese Ambassador to Laos Nguyen Ba Hung told the media.

Last year, Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith visited Vietnam three times, in June, August and December, while Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc paid a visit to the neighboring country in May, he went on.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Laos Nguyen Ba Hung

The inter-governmental committee convened two meetings within a year for the first time, demonstrating the two governments’ promptness in reviewing and promoting bilateral ties before Laos’ 11th National Party Congress and Vietnam’s 13th National Party Congress, he said.

Hung emphasized the two countries’ mutual support in pandemic-related issues, saying PM Phuc vowed to help Laos with medical supplies during phone talks with his Lao counterpart two days after the first COVID-19 case was detected in the country.

Two weeks later, Vietnam sent experts to Laos to share experience in combating the pandemic, while Vietnamese ministries, agencies, and localities also played a part in this regard.

Of particular note, the two countries have facilitated cross-border travel by citizens as well as trade in goods in line with COVID-19 prevention and control measures, with two-way trade estimated at nearly USD 1 billion last year.

The ambassador said Vietnam and Laos will further deepen their political ties in 2021 while enhancing cooperation in national defense, security, and external affairs.

They will also raise the efficiency of cooperation in economy, culture, education, health care, and science-technology, and expand exchanges between citizens as well as localities.

He suggested intensifying mutual support in dealing with the consequences of COVID-19 in order to quickly resume economic growth.

According to the ambassador, Laos is the largest recipient of Vietnam’s overseas investment, amounting to USD 4.22 billion to date in 414 projects.

Apart from citizen protection, which is considered a top priority in the face of the pandemic, the Vietnamese Embassy in Laos has paid attention to facilitating Vietnamese investment in the country through various activities, he said.

Source: VNA