VIENTIANE, June 25 (Xinhua) -- Political relations between Laos and Vietnam have soared to new heights, a press release from the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, referring to the ongoing visit made by Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung.
The Vietnamese deputy prime minister is leading a delegation visiting Laos from Monday to Tuesday at the invitation of his Lao counterpart Sonexay Siphandone.
"The bilateral cooperation ties in politics have climbed to new heights witnessed by the regular visits of each other's high-ranking leaders from the two parties and governments," the Lao press release stated.
The two sides highly valued the attention of the two parties and governments to encourage bilateral economic cooperation, especially the implementation of bilateral cooperation agreements following the memorandum of understanding signed by the two politburos, the minutes of the 41st of Laos-Vietnam Cooperation Committee, as well as its cooperation agreement for 2019, local daily Vientiane Times on Tuesday reported.
After the meeting, deputy prime ministers of Laos and Vietnam witnessed the signing of a trade agreement on electric power for the Namxam 3 Power dam.
On Monday, Dung met with Vice President of the Lao National Assembly Somphanh Phengkhammy, who is also guiding the construction project of the new Lao National Assembly compound, assisted by Vietnam.
From 1989 up to the present, Vietnam has operated 413 projects in Laos valued at 4.1 billion U.S. dollars. Of the amount, 3.9 billion U.S. dollars were invested in the sectors of agriculture, industry, handicrafts, mining, and services. Vietnam is ranked third from 53 economies in terms of investment in Laos, according to the Lao Ministry of Planning and Investment.
Trade volume between the two countries over the first five months of 2019 was 492.5 million U.S. dollars, a 13.2 percent increase compared to the same period last year which was 434.9 million U.S. dollars. Exports from Laos to Vietnam were valued at 199.6 million U.S. dollars with the country's imports from Vietnam valued at 292.9 million U.S. dollars.