Enhancing Vietnam-Laos Cooperation in Economic Diplomacy

The bilateral collaboration has been expanded and deepened across all spheres, particularly finance

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The Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Laos and Vietnam on August 17 co-organised a seminar on economic diplomacy in Vientiane , VNA reported Wednesday.

An overview of the seminar. Photo: VNA
An overview of the seminar. Photo: VNA

Speaking at the event, Nguyen Minh Hang, Assistant to the Minister, Director of the economic affairs department, said that the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry identifies economic diplomacy as one of the basic and central tasks of comprehensive and modern diplomacy, and a driving force for the development of the country.

The ministry is willing to share assessments and opinions on the world economic situation and emerging issues, as well as experience in developing economic diplomacy with Laos.

At the seminar, both sides agreed on the importance and role of economic diplomacy in contributing to national development, affirming the necessity for the two ministries’ cooperation and sharing of experience in this field in the context of an extremely complicated world situation.

Participants heard reports on each country’s economic diplomacy and development of strategies on this aspect, and measures to boost economic diplomacy in the two countries relations.

They also exchanged views on difficulties in carrying out economic diplomacy, and new orientations in the mobilization of resources, particularly from international integration.

In the afternoon, the two ministries plan to co-organize another seminar on the concerted and effective implementation of economic diplomacy to serve economic recovery and development.

Trade between Vietnam and Laos rose 24.2% in the first seven months of 2022 to nearly USD 949 million, with Vietnam’s export value of nearly USD 586 million, reported the Vietnam Trade Office in Laos.

The office said that the major products Vietnam shipped to Laos included petrol, vegetables, fertilizers, clinker and cement, electric wires and cables, paper and paper products, ceramics, and garment products.

Meanwhile, Vietnam mostly imported from Laos fertilizers, rubber, wood and furniture, ore and other minerals.

Enhance Vietnam-Laos Cooperation in Economic Diplomacy
Two-way trade between Vietnam and Laos in the first half of 2022 increased by 20.6% year-on-year to USD 824 million. Illustrative image: VNA

In July alone, two-way trade hit USD 125 million, a surge of 54.1% year on year, including Vietnam’s export revenue of nearly USD 53.2 million, up 33.9%. This was the third consecutive month that Vietnam enjoyed an increase in exports to Laos, helping reduce the fall in the turnover to minus 1.6% from minus 6% in the first half of this year.

In August, Vietnam expects a continuous rise in exports to Laos thanks to the stable conditions of the Lao economy, the reduction in petrol prices in the world, and the rising number of Vietnamese investors in Laos.

The two countries are celebrating the Vietnam – Laos and Laos – Vietnam Solidarity and Friendship Year 2022, the 60th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties (September 5, 1962 – 2022), and 45 years of the signing of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (July 18, 1977 – 2022).

Hannah Nguyen