Vietnam, Laos step up trade and energy cooperation

Sunday, 2019-08-18 16:14:14
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Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh (second from left) attends the development cooperation conferences with the Lao ministries. (Photo: NDO)
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NDO – A delegation of the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT), led by Minister Tran Tuan Anh, are in Vientiane, Laos, from August 16 to 18 for conferences on Vietnam-Laos cooperation in developing the industry & trade, energy and mining sectors.

The annual event offers an occasion for the MOIT and the Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MOIC) and the Lao Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) to review bilateral collaboration and the handling of obstacles, as well as discussing measures to strengthen Vietnam-Laos cooperation in the spheres of industry & trade, energy and mining.

MOIT Minister Tran Tuan Anh held talks with MOIC Minister Khemmani Phonsena and MEM Minister Khammani Inthilath to exchange views on the pressing issues in the aforementioned areas.

Meeting with the Lao trade minister, Anh highlighted the positive impacts of the Vietnam-Laos Border Trade Agreement on the two sides’ goods trading and transition activities, contributing to the 10% growth of two-way trade revenues and fulfilling the targets set by senior leaders of the two countries at the 41st meeting of the Vietnam-Laos Inter-governmental Committee.

At the development cooperation conference between the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce. (Photo: NDO)

The Vietnamese minister touched upon some issues reflected by businesses, such as the delays in goods clearance and origin inspection and the difficulties faced in quarantine work.

For his part, Phonsena recognised the aforementioned shortcomings and agreed to work with the Vietnamese side to resolve those hindrances.

During his talks with MEM Minister Khammani Inthilath, Minister Tran Tuan Anh extended his congratulations on Laos’ achievements attained in socio-economic developments and power development. The two sides highly appreciated the outstanding cooperation results over recent times, including the signing of an agreement on cooperation in developing power and mining facilities between the Vietnamese and Lao governments after more than two years of negotiations (February 2019).

Anh said that MOIT is willing to support MEM in building an e-document management system and share experience in operating the ministry’s portal.

MEM Minister Inthilath discussed with the Vietnamese official on the possibility of purchasing power concerning some thermal and wind power projects in Laos in the near future.

At the development cooperation conference between the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Lao Ministry of Energy and Mines. (Photo: NDO)

Regarding the issue, Anh said that the Vietnamese Government has assigned Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) to negotiate with Lao investors on connection, price and power output measures aiming to ensure accordance with the regulations and interests of both sides.

For the time ahead, the two sides have agreed to design a plan on the implementation of a revised agreement for the agreement on cooperation in developing power energy and mining facilities between the two Governments, while building and negotiating a memorandum of understanding on border trade infrastructure development and connectivity along the Vietnam-Laos border.

They also reached a consensus on facilitating Vietnamese firms to effectively implement trade promotion activities in Laos, encouraging Lao companies to further participate in trade promotion activities and fairs in Vietnam, and promoting the implementation of power projects between the two countries.

According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, Vietnam-Laos trade revenues reached US$663.8 million in the first seven months of 2019, up 13.1% over the same period last year. Vietnam exported US$404.7 million worth of goods to Laos, up 18.8% year-on-year, while importing US$259 million from the country, up 5.2%.