President To Lam's visit demonstrates special Vietnam-Laos ties: Lao Ambassador

President To Lam’s upcoming State visit to Laos is a vivid demonstration of the special friendship and comprehensive cooperation between Laos and Vietnam, stated Lao Ambassador to Vietnam Khamphao Ernthavanh.
Lao Ambassador to Vietnam Khamphao Ernthavanh (Photo: VNA)
Lao Ambassador to Vietnam Khamphao Ernthavanh (Photo: VNA)

Speaking to Vietnam News Agency (VNA) ahead of the visit, the ambassador said that President Lam’s choosing Laos as the destination for his first trip abroad as the State leader of Vietnam shows the special attention and priority that Vietnam attaches to Laos.

Sharing close neighbourliness, a long-standing historical relationship and mutual support during different historical periods, leaders and people of Laos and Vietnam have worked together to reinforce their great friendship and special solidarity initiated by President Ho Chi Minh, President Kaysone Phomvihane and President Souphanouvong. The two countries have supported each other throughout their national construction and defence process, she noted.

During President Lam’s visit, the two sides will review their cooperation over the years, seeking measures to remove difficulties and obstacles facing their partnership and sketching out future collaboration orientations towards the purpose of further enhancing their comprehensive cooperation, the diplomat said.

Noting that the regional and international situation is increasingly complicated, impacting countries around the world including Vietnam and Laos, the ambassador underlined that Laos and Vietnam need to strengthen their great relationship, special friendship and comprehensive cooperation, and support each other to overcome all difficulties and thrive together.

Regarding economic cooperation between the two countries over the years, Ambassador Khamphao Ernthavanh held that the two sides have worked hard together to promote partnership in trade, investment, agriculture and infrastructure development, while two-way trade has expanded stably. Many large-scale Vietnamese-funded projects in Laos, especially in the fields of energy, mining and agriculture, have not only contributed to the economic growth of Laos but also created many employment opportunities for locals, she said.

The diplomat said that leaders of the two countries have repeatedly emphasised the need to strengthen connectivity between the two economies and coordination in growth orientations for the interests of both peoples. She highlighted the active coordination among leaders of the Party, State, localities, organisations and businesses of Vietnam and Laos in realising agreements reached between senior leaders of the two sides in economy and trade as well as implementing Vietnamese-invested projects in Laos.

In order to beef up bilateral economic and trade cooperation, the two sides should focus on strengthening and promoting the efficiency of economic-trade cooperation mechanisms from central to local levels, she said.

Ministries and sectors of the two countries should concentrate on implementing signed economic-trade cooperation plans, create favourable conditions for investors and businesses of the two sides to cooperate, exchange experience and explore each other’s strengths for stronger partnership, the diplomat stressed.

Mentioning measures to promote cooperation among Laos, Vietnam and ASEAN countries in the ASEAN Year 2024 spirit of “Enhancing Connectivity and Resilience,” Ambassador Khamphao Ernthavanh said that Vietnam plays an important role in strengthening solidarity and centrality of ASEAN.

President Lam once affirmed that ASEAN is a family of close neighbours, said the ambassador, holding that the Vietnamese leader’s first State visit to Laos, the ASEAN Chair for 2024, will contribute to further deepen the special friendship and comprehensive between Vietnam and Laos as well as between Vietnam, Laos and ASEAN member countries.

ASEAN will continue to strive for regional peace, stability and security. Dialogue and cooperation are essential in solving multidimensional, complex and unpredictable challenges. Laos, as Chair of ASEAN, aims to optimise ASEAN's potential for peace, security, stability and shared prosperity, stated the diplomat.

President Lam's visit to Laos will emphasise the importance of ASEAN's solidarity, self-reliance and regional cooperation, in which Vietnam plays an important role, the Lao ambassador concluded.