Viet Nam President Undertakes First Official State Visit to Lao PDR

Viet Nam President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Lao PDR President Thongloun Sisoulith pledged to continue to give the highest priority to their bilateral cooperation, and noted the need to closely coordinate in Mekong subregional cooperation mechanisms. The Viet Nam President was in Lao PDR on 9-10 August for his first official overseas visit. On 9 August, he held talks with his counterpart.

The two leaders agreed to promote cooperation in trade, investment, and energy, and support each other amid challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. They also agreed to closely work together through international and regional forums, promote the central role of ASEAN and ASEAN-led mechanisms, strengthen coordination with Cambodia to implement the agreement on the Cambodia-Lao PDR-Viet Nam Development Triangle, and implement the Master Plan on connecting the three economies by 2030.

They witnessed the signing of 14 cooperation agreements, including the MoU on hydropower development in Houaphanh Province (Lao PDR) and agreement for Viet Nam to purchase electricity from Nam Ou and Nam Ngum 4 dams.

A regional technical assistance, “Harmonizing the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Power Systems to Facilitate Regional Power Trade,” supported by the Asian Development Bank, is laying the essential building blocks to facilitate GMS regional power trade. It supports the work of the Regional Power Trade Coordination Committee, and the Working Groups on (i) Performance Standard and Grid Code and (ii) Regulatory Issues, and eventually the Regional Power Coordination Center.