Vietnam will do its best to help Laos, especially in transport development, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc told visiting Lao Minister of Public Works and Transport Bounchanh Sinthavong during their meeting in Hanoi on March 7.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) and Lao Minister of Public Works and Transport Bounchanh Sinthavong
The PM welcomed the minister’s proposals, noting that the Vietnam-Laos Intergovernmental Committee had reached a consensus on those issues at its 39th meeting.
He affirmed that Vietnam will allow Laos to use Vietnam’s sea ports to serve Laos’s economic development, and encourage Laos to cooperate with Vietnam in building and exploiting sea ports.
Regarding the Hanoi-Vientiane Expressway project, the PM agreed that the Vietnamese side will complete a feasible study for the plan in 2017, asking the two countries’ ministries of transport to work closely with foreign consultation units to fulfill the work as soon as possible.
He also urged both sides’ ministries, sectors and relevant agencies to proactively enhance coordination in other transport projects.
PM Phuc requested the Ministries of Transport and Foreign Affair of the two countries to review the operation of the “one-stop-shop” model at border gates, with a view to facilitating transport between the two countries and ensuring security at shared border areas.
For his part, Bounchanh Sinthavong informed the host on the cooperation between the two ministries of transport in implementing the guidelines by the two Governments at the Vietnam-Laos Intergovernmental Committee’s 39th meeting.
Regarding a project to build a road connecting Laos’s Luang Prabang province with Vietnam’s Dien Bien province, he said his country is selecting contractors to coordinate with Vietnam to accelerating the project.
The two countries’ ministries of transport will also jointly work to implement other projects, in line with the directions of the two Governments, he added.
Vietnam, Laos to speed up Hanoi-Vientiane expressway project
Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport and Laos’s Ministry of Public Works and Transport are set to take the next steps to soon implement the project on building an expressway linking capital cities Hanoi and Vientiane in 2017.
They agreed to work to seek investment and support, firstly for the making of the feasibility study, according to the consensus reached at a bilateral meeting in Hanoi on March 7.
The ministries were also unanimous in coordinating more closely to accelerate the construction of a railway route connecting capital Vientiane of landlocked Laos with Vung Ang port in Vietnam’s central province of Ha Tinh.
In a memorandum of understanding on transport cooperation for 2016-2025 signed between the Vietnamese and Lao governments in September 2015, the two sides defined the Hanoi – Vientiane expressway and the Vientiane – Vung Ang railway route as strategic projects that need to be carried out shortly to boost bilateral trade.
These projects are also hoped to create prerequisites for Laos to become a goods transit centre in the region. They are expected to simultaneously capitalise on Laos’s central location in ASEAN and Vietnam’s maritime advantages.
At the meeting, the two ministries also agreed to facilitate the transit of Lao goods in Vung Ang Port. They will review the one-stop-shop model at Vietnam’s Lao Bao and Laos’s Densavan border gates while immediately considering the application of this model in two other pairs of border gates (Cha Lo – Na Phao, and Cau Treo - Namphao) to smooth the way for Lao goods to Vung Ang Port.
They planned to organise a joint working group to step up the feasibility studies of some road projects in Laos and enhance personnel training and experience sharing.
The ministries concurred in holding some exchanges on the occasion of 55 years of the two countries’ diplomatic ties (September 5, 1962) and 40 years of the signing of the Vietnam – Laos Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation (July 18, 1977).
Noting the ministries’ stronger cooperation, they said transport connectivity between Vietnam and Laos has developed. The two countries have been coordinating to optimise transport links, thus fostering cross-border trade so as to fuel socio-economic development and help consolidate politics and defence-security.
Vietnam, Laos share experience in management decentralisation
National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (centre) speaks at the workshop
Vietnamese and Lao legislators shared experience in management decentralisation from central to grassroots levels during a workshop held in Hanoi on March 7.
Lao National Assembly Chairwoman Pany Yathotou and Vietnam National Assembly Vice Chairwoman Tong Thi Phong co-chaired the event, which demonstrates the role and duties of the two countries’ legislatures in State management.
Phong said Vietnam promulgated the Law on Local Government Organisation in 2015 to address shortcomings in the 2003 Law on Organisation of the People’s Councils and People’s Committees, and reform activities of local authorities to promote their autonomy, self-responsibility, and management efficiency.
Pany Yathotou said Laos has gained significant outcomes in the field and hoped to exchange more experience with Vietnamese delegates to finalise policies and documents.
During the workshop, Vietnamese and Lao delegates talked about the legal document system on the apparatus of elected and administrative bodies and governments in the respective countries.
Addressing the event, Vietnam’s National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan said the workshop is one of the important political activities in early 2017 to mark the 55th founding anniversary of Vietnam – Laos diplomatic ties and the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Vietnam – Laos Treaty of Amity and Cooperation.
This is the second symposium in the 14th tenure of Vietnam’s National Assembly and the eighth tenure of the Lao National Assembly, she said, noting that the first one was jointly hosted by the two countries’ legislatures in Laos in September 2016, focusing on the public debt management.
The co-organisation of such event is expected to improve the cooperation efficiency between Vietnam and Laos, especially in law-building, she added.
She stressed the need to increase the State’s operational quality and efficiency as well as clearly define the mechanism, authorities, and responsibilities of State-run agencies in exercising legislative, executive, and judicial powers.
Vietnamese and Lao top legislators agreed to entrust the NA Committees for External Relations to host more symposia in the coming time to strengthen cooperation between the two law-making bodies and further promote the two countries’ traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation.