9th India-Lao PDR Joint Commission Meeting (CREDITS: TWITTER)
9th India-Lao PDR Joint Commission Meeting (CREDITS: TWITTER)

India, Laos agree to strengthen bilateral ties

ANI | Updated: Nov 23, 2018 17:05 IST

Vientiane [Laos], Nov 23 (ANI): India and the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) on Friday agreed to strengthen their bilateral relations through political dialogue and increased trade and investment respectively.
Accompanied by a delegation of senior officers from her ministry, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, visited Lao PDR on November 22-23, a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs read.
During the visit, Swaraj co-chaired the 9th India-Lao PDR Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) along with her Laotian counterpart Saleumxay Kommasith. The meeting reviewed the India-Lao PDR relations comprehensively and took note of all that has been achieved and the current state of the various cooperation programmes.
The meeting also laid out the roadmap for future cooperation and enhancement in bilateral relations. The agreed minutes of the JCM were signed by the two ministers at the end of the meeting.
Swaraj also met Laotian Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith and discussed bilateral relations and various areas of mutual interest and cooperation. Both the leaders agreed that India-Lao PDR enjoy excellent bilateral relations which need to be strengthened further through constant political dialogue and through increased trade and investment, the statement said.
The External Affairs Minister assured Sisoulith that India will stand by Lao PDR in its quest for development and growth and will be happy to assist through soft loans projects aimed at building Lao PDR's infrastructure including roads, agriculture and irrigation, IT, human resource development and any other sectors.
"During the visit, Swaraj addressed the Indian community in Vientiane. The community was very happy to interact with the minister and warmly reciprocated the feeling. She asked the Indian community to forget all differences and work together as a community to promote the welfare of the Indian community in Lao PDR and also work towards contributing to the increase of bilateral contacts between India and Lao PDR especially in the commercial and cultural fields," the statement added.
India and Lao PDR enjoy warm and friendly ties characterised by the exchange of regular visits at all levels. The two countries share age-old civilisational ties best symbolised by the relic of the Buddha encased in the That Luang Stupa, the national emblem of Lao PDR, and the Vat Phou Temple Complex, an ancient Shiva temple, whose earliest structures date back to the 5th and 6th Century AD, and which is currently being renovated and restored by the Archaeological Survey of India.
"In recent decades, bilateral cooperation has grown in many areas including India's role in assisting Lao PDR in infrastructure building, human resources capacity building, agriculture and irrigation, Information Technology (IT) and education among others. Trade and economic cooperation have also been growing steadily," the statement further said. (ANI)