The General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nong Duc Manh, will pay an official visit to Laos from April 13-15 at the invitation of Lao Party General Secretary and State President Choummaly Sayasone.
This is General Secretary Manh’s second visit to Laos since October 2006 and takes place at a special time as the Champa flower country welcomes in its traditional new year festival.
The visit is to reaffirm and contribute to enhancing the traditional friendship, special solidarity, comprehensive cooperation and trust between the two parties, states and peoples of Vietnam and Laos .
It also shows Vietnam ’s support for Laos during its national construction and renewal period as well as for its preparations for the ninth Congress of Laos Revolutionary People’s Party.
The leaders from both countries will discuss measures to accelerate previously agreed bilateral agreements and step up coordination between Vietnam , Laos and Cambodia in the new era.
Cooperation between ministries and state agencies, different localities and sectors in both countries will be also expanded.
Education and training is a key issue in bilateral cooperation, focusing on human resource development. Vietnam trains almost 650 Lao students each year and almost 5,000 Lao students are currently studying in Vietnam altogether.
Economic, cultural, scientific and technological cooperation has also met the strategic targets of both governments. Vietnam has to date 207 investment projects with a total capital of over 2 billion USD in Laos, while Laos operates eight projects in Vietnam worth about 48 million USD.
Two-way trade between Vietnam and Laos has seen an annual increase of between 30 and 40 percent in recent years and in 2009 the figure reached 450 million USD. Both countries are targeting raising two-way trade to 1 billion USD by 2010 and 2 billion USD by 2015.
Vietnam and Laos work closely in exchanging information and on international and regional issues as well as in organisations and at multilateral forums such as ASEAN, AIPA, ACMECS, ASEM, the United Nations, the Francophone Association, NAM, and are an integral part of the Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam development triangle, the East-West Corridor and the Greater Sub-Mekong Region.