Visiting Defence Ministry’s Delegation of Vietnam Welcomed in Laos

Lao leaders welcomed visiting the defense minister of Vietnam.

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General Secretary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party and President of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith (R) and Minister of National Defence Gen. Phan Van Giang meet in Vientiane on September 13. Photo: PANO
General Secretary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party and President of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith (R) and Minister of National Defence Gen. Phan Van Giang meet in Vientiane on September 13. Photo: PANO

Minister of National Defence Gen. Phan Van Giang paid courtesy calls to General Secretary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party and President of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith and the country’s Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh in Vientiane on September 13, VNA reported.

Giang affirmed to the Lao leaders that Vietnam always treasures and exerts efforts to maintain and bring into play its special and faithful relations with Laos, which are vital to each country’s political regime.

He thanked the Party, Government, people, and defense ministry of Laos for creating favorable conditions for the search for and repatriation of remains of Vietnam’s volunteer soldiers and experts falling down in Laos.

The minister also expressed his hope that the Lao Party, Government, and National Assembly will continue providing mechanism and policy support for Vietnamese enterprises, including military firms, to operate in Laos in such fields as telecommunications, information technology, digital transformation, and construction.

Lao Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh (R) receives Vietnamese Defence Minister Gen. Phan Van Giang in Vientiane on September 13. Photo: PANO
Lao Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh (R) receives Vietnamese Defence Minister Gen. Phan Van Giang in Vientiane on September 13. Photo: PANO

The two Lao leaders said that Giang’s selection of Laos as the first country to visit as Defence Minister of Vietnam reflected the particularly close bonds between the two countries and the two armies.

Earlier the same day, Giang and his Lao counterpart Chansamone Chanyalath held talks, during which they discussed international and regional issues of common concern, reviewed cooperation outcomes in the recent past, and suggested cooperation orientations for the time ahead.

They expressed support for intensifying ties among the armies of Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia, including maintaining the annual meeting of the three countries’ defense ministers and supporting each other at multilateral events hosted by each of them. They agreed to study joint activities in different forms among the countries’ armies.

Meeting with Minister of National Defence of the Lao People's Democratic Republic General Chansamone Chanyalath. Photo: PANO
Meeting with Minister of National Defence of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic General Chansamone Chanyalath. Photo: PANO

The delegation will attend the meeting between the three defense ministers of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia and witness a joint rescue and rescue exercise between the armed forces of the three countries Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia from September 13 to 19.

The visit aims to strengthen foreign defense information work with Laos and Cambodia, contribute to strengthening the friendly relationship between the militaries of the three countries Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, and well implement propaganda activities to commemorate the occasion of the Vietnam-Laos and Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Year 2022.

In the afternoon of the same day, General Phan Van Giang and a high-ranking Vietnamese military delegation came to lay a wreath at the Monument to Heroes and Martyrs in Vientiane.

On the evening of the same day, General Chansamone Chanyalath hosted a reception to welcome General Phan Van Giang and the high-ranking Vietnamese military delegation.

Visiting Defence Ministry's Delegation of Vietnam Welcomed in Laos
Laying a wreath at the Monument for Heroes and Martyrs in Vientiane. Photo: PANO

Vietnam as one of the biggest foreign investors in Laos, with some USD 5.4 billion in FDI mostly landing in hydropower, mining, agriculture, and tourism, Counselor and Deputy Ambassador of Laos to Vietnam Chanthaphone Khammanichanh told the Vietnam News Agency.

Vietnamese businesses not only operate for profit but also build social infrastructure to improve local people’s living conditions such as schools, hospitals and irrigation works.

Last year, two-way trade hit about USD 1.3 billion, a year-on-year surge of 33.8%, despite the impacts of the severe Covid-19 resurgence, he said, adding that Laos increased exports of its key agricultural products such as rice, coffee, rubber, bananas, sugar and watermelons to Vietnam.

According to the deputy ambassador, the two countries are working together to boost cross-border transport connectivity. They plan to develop a highway connecting the two capitals – Hanoi and Vientiane – viewed as an artery of friendship and a gateway to the region and the world for sustainable development. An East-West Corridor is also being developed to boost tourism growth.

Hannah Nguyen