Senior officials of Laos led by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Somdy Douangdy met their counterparts led by Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, Somkid Jatusripitak on May 24 in Vientiane Capital, where they agreed to increase bilateral trade volume to more than US$ 10 billion by 2024.
Both sides agreed that all government and private mechanisms will be used to ensure the increase in the bilateral trade value as Thailand has been a key trade partner of Laos for more than 40 years.
Bilateral trade between the two countries has recorded a constant growth from USD 2.2 billion in the 2010-2011 fiscal year to USD 5.8 billion in the 2015-2016 fiscal year.
The bilateral meeting between the two deputy prime ministers, along with their delegations, was held as part of a three-day visit to Laos by Mr Somkid and his delegation on May 23-25.
The vice premier delegations centred their discussion on the promotion of Partnership for Sustainable Development, connectivity, trade-investment and tourism.
Both sides agreed to expand economic cooperation for sustainable growth in the two countries and the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).
Mr Somkid told his host that Thailand is ready to support the socio-economic development policy of the Lao PDR to help it graduate from the list of least developed countries by 2020 and implement projects designed to promote cooperation in human resource development, agriculture, tourism, education, and health and prepare a master plan on connectivity integration between the two countries and among countries in the Mekong region to ensure connectivity in transport via roads, bridges, railways, ports and the facilitation of trans-boundary transport to promote trade and investment along common border.
Both sides agreed to use the border checkpoint located between Savannakhet of Laos and Mukdahan of Thailand as a common goods inspection area with in this year and to accelerate the construction of the 5th Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge across the Mekong between Bolikhamxay in Laos and Bung Kan in Thailand.They also agreed to promote regional integration between Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand (CLMVT), and devise a strategy on integration in the sub-region in various fields under the ACMECS framework.
They also agreed to promote cooperation on establishing an infrastructure development fund (Infrastructure Fund) to boost basic infrastructure development in Laos and the energy development policy of the Lao government.
The guest and host sides also agreed to develop a master plan on trans-boundary tourism cooperation under the initiative: Two Countries, One Destination.
Cooperation on energy and securities exchanges was also brought to discussion at the bilateral meeting.
Source: Lao News Agency