Lao, Vietnamese business associations ink pacts

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - The Lao and Vietnamese business associations are set to cooperate with each other to promote stable and sustainable growth of the Laoeconomy as part of their shared goal to achieve prosperity.

The Young Entrepreneurs Association of Laos (YEAL) and the Vietnam Business Association for Cooperation and Investment in Laos (BACI) have agreed to work together to boost the sustainable growth of Laos’ economy.

Speaking at a meeting in Vientiane on Tuesday, YEAL’s President Dr Khamsen Sisavong said cooperation between the two associations is critical for Laos because of its central location within Asean.

“Obviously, we see that the trade deficit continues because Laos is almost entirely reliant on imported products. We are unable to produce diversified goods to meet the needs of the domestic market and we face other challenges,” he said.

Dr Khamsen said the two associations will continue to cooperate with each other by hosting various advisory meetings to share experiences with Vietnamese investors in Laos and seek ways to increase exports.

Meanwhile, the Head of the BACI Office, Mr Do Dang Khang, said the association was established in 2010 as a non-profit NGO in Laos to boost business operations, investments and cooperation.

“Our association’s role is to unify Vietnamese business people in Laos; it is the centre for providing information and educating businesspeople from Vietnam who are running businesses or investing in Laos, to ensure they are complying with the Lao government’s policies and laws.”

In addition, the Vice Secretary General of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Youth Union, Ms Vilayvone Phanthavong, said cooperation between Laos and Vietnam has increased as the two nations enjoy special relations.

“Vietnam is one of Laos’ top trading partners and foreign investors. As soon as the two sides have inked the cooperation agreement, practical action is needed to support the guidelines of the government’s economic development plan,” she said.

During the meeting, several companies from Laos and Vietnam inked business agreements to promote their operations.

According to a report released earlier this year, Vietnam has invested US$4.1 billion in 409 projects and ranks third among all foreign countries investing in Laos.

The value of trade between the two countries hit US$1 billion in 2018, an increase of 13 percent compared to 2017.

Vietnamese business operators invest in various fields, such as education, finance, petroleum and other sectors.

The Ambassador of Vietnam to Laos, Mr Nguyen Ba Hung, was also present at the meeting and witnessed the signing ceremonies.

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