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Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Vietnam, Laos look to boost two-way trade

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Vietnam and Laos have agreed to further bilateral cooperation, with two-way trade expected to rise by 10-15% this year, according to the Vietnam News Agency.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and his Lao counterpart, Sonexay Siphandone, co-chaired the 46th meeting of the Vietnam-Laos Intergovernmental Committee for Bilateral Cooperation on January 7, reaffirming their commitment to enhancing bilateral cooperation in 2024.

The meeting reviewed bilateral cooperation in the past year and outlined new objectives and directions for 2024.

In trade, both countries are determined to boost trade growth significantly, targeting a 10-15% increase in bilateral trade in 2024. Laos will provide favorable conditions and preferential policies for major Vietnamese projects in the country. It will also adjust regulations on implementation duration for hydropower and mining projects to align with the new situation.

In terms of cooperation for 2024, both sides agreed to continue implementing agreements between the political entities of Vietnam and Laos effectively. They aim to deepen political and diplomatic relations, strengthen cooperation at all levels, sectors, and localities, and maintain strong ties in defense and security.

Both prime ministers expressed satisfaction with the positive development in political relations, high-level visits, and collaboration in defense, security, and foreign affairs.

Vietnam currently has 245 active projects in Laos with total registered capital of US$5.5 billion. In 2023, Vietnam’s investment in Laos reached US$116.6 million, a 65.3% increase compared to the previous year. Laos, on the other hand, is investing in 18 projects in Vietnam, with total capital of US$110 million.

In 2023, two-way trade amounted to US$1.6 billion, a slight decrease of 2.1% compared to 2022.

The cooperation in electricity trading continues to strengthen, with Vietnam making significant progress in importing electricity from Laos as part of the 2021-2025 plan. The Vietnam Electricity Group (EVN) has signed 19 power purchase agreements with investors for electricity from 26 hydropower projects in Laos, totaling 2,689MW.

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