A Vietnamese delegation attended the Vietnam – Laos conference for the development of the industry-trade, energy and mining sectors in the Lao capital of Vientiane from August 16 to 18.
At the conference (Photo: VNA)
The conference was an annual event of Vietnam’s Ministry ofIndustry and Trade, and the Ministries of Industry and Commerce, and Energy andMines of Laos. It was an occasion for the sides involved to clear hurdles toand reach agreements on solutions to boost their cooperation.
Within the framework of the event, on August 17, Minister ofIndustry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh, who was head of the Vietnamese delegation, heldtalks with his Lao counterpart Khemmani Phonsena.
Anh highlighted positive impacts of the Vietnam – Laos tradeand border trade agreements which have contributed to the average annual tradegrowth of 10 percent and the completion of goals set at the 41st meeting of the Vietnam – Laos intergovernmental committee.
He said the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade held aconference to review three-year implementation of the border trade agreementand pointed out a number shortcomings raised by enterprises such astime-consuming origin checks and customs clearance at border gates andquarantine work causing difficulties to firms.
The minister also pointed to obstacles facing PetrolimexLaos, a subsidiary of the Vietnam National Petroleum Group (Petrolimex), due tothe host nation’s regulations on petrol and oil standards and retail prices.
The Lao minister said both sides will work closely to clearsuch problems.
The same day, the Vietnamese minister had talks with LaoMinister of Energy and Mines Khammani Inthilath, where both lauded thesignificant achievements of bilateral cooperation between the two countries inthe field of energy and mining.
Vietnam and Laos signed a cooperation agreement ondeveloping energy and mining projects in February 2019 after two years ofnegotiations. The sides also signed electricity trading contracts andestablished the Luangprabang energy limited company to continue implementingtheir Luang Prabang hydropower project, providing favourable conditions for theimprovement of Laos’ grid capacity and the operation of Vietnamese-fundedelectricity projects in Laos to sell power for the Vietnamese market.
Anh said his ministry is willing to share its experience onrunning the information portal with the Lao Ministry of Energy and Mines andhelp the body build its management system for electronic documents.
For his part, the Lao minister mentioned the possibility ofpower purchase from the thermal power projects in Sekong and Khammuan provincesof Laos, as well as a wind power project in Sekong, among others.
Regarding these projects, Anh said the Vietnam Electricity(EVN) group has been assigned to negotiate with Lao contractors on relevantcooperation options, prices, and electricity capacities and outputs in linewith both sides’ regulations and benefits.
At these talks, the two sides agreed to amend the Vietnam –Laos trade and border trade agreements; build a plan for the implementation ofthe revised Vietnam – Laos cooperation agreement on developing energy andmining projects; and design and negotiate a memorandum of understanding ondeveloping and connecting the two countries’ border trade infrastructure.
They also agreed to collaborate in carrying out research ongrid planning and electricity prices for trade between the two nations.
They said Vietnamese and Lao businesses will be facilitatedto launch and join trade promotion activities in their respective nations,while bilateral power plant and electricity trade projects will be boostedfurther.-VNA