Vietnam – Laos Relations
Vietnam and Laos are two neighbors whose relations were established and developed along their thousand-year history of national construction and defense. In the struggle against colonial rule, the two countries set up the Viet-Lao alliance to fight against their common enemy. On September 5, 1962, Vietnam and Laos officially established diplomatic relations. The establishment of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic brought Vietnam and Laos relations to a new stage of special relations of friendship, solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the two Parties and States. Since then, the special relations between the two countries have been constantly consolidated and developed.
1. Political relations:
The bilateral political ties saw continuous development on an intensive and increasingly firm foundation. The two countries have been implementing the annual Agreement on Economic, Cultural, Science and Technology Cooperation that laid out the cooperation framework between the two Governments.
High level visits and meetings between leaders from the two Parties, States, Parliaments, Governments and localities have been being regularly conducted while the inter-governmental committees maintaining their operations. In recent years, the two countries exchanged important visits that paved the way to a new era for bilateral cooperation after their successful Party Congresses such as: the official visit to Vietnam by Mr. Choumaly Sayasone, Secretary General of the Central Committee of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party and President of LPDR on June, 2006 and April, 2009; the official visit to Laos by Mr. Nong Duc Manh, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam.
The special relations of friendship, solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries have been continuously consolidated through important agreements: Friendship and Cooperation Treaty signed in 1977, Agreement on Cooperation for the period of 2006 – 2010 and Strategy on Economic, Cultural and Science and Technology Cooperation signed in 2001. A Joint Statement which providing the guidelines for the bilateral special relations was signed in July 2001 on the occasion of the visit to Laos by Mr Nong Duc Manh, Secretary General of the Communist Party of Vietnam. Since then, the two countries have enjoyed close coordination and cooperation in various regional and international fora, such as the United Nations, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Co-operation Strategy (ACMECS), the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS), the Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Vietnam Sub-regional Co-operation and the Vietnam-Laos-Cambodia Development Triangle. This has contributed to raise each country’s status and prestige in the region and the world.
2.Economic, cultural and scientific and technological cooperation
Trade relations: Beside the fine political ties, Vietnam- and Laos enjoyed fruitful economic co-operation in recent years. Thanks to appropriate incentives, the two-way trade has recorded steady growth. The total import-export volume between Vietnam and Laos reached about US $687.8 million in the 2001-2005 period, an average amount of US $137.56 million per year. In 2008, the two-way trade was estimated at US $423 million. The two countries are striving for the targets of US $1 billion by 2010 and then US $2 billion in 2015. Cooperation in the field of investment: Great progress was also made in recent years. Vietnam so far has 190 direct investment projects in Laos with a total capital of nearly US $2.167 million, continue ranking the top 3 among countries investing in Laos. Vietnam’s projects focus on hydro-electricity, mining, transportation and industrial crops. Co-operation in other fields such as health care, agriculture and rural development were also expanded and both countries are giving priority to co-operation in education and training, leading to higher quantity and quality. Border localities of Vietnam and Laos have paid much attention to establishing economic and commercial exchange zones. In addition, co-operation in security and national defense has been well maintained./.