Acknowledging the close and friendly ties enjoyed between both countries, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong of the Lao Peopleís Democratic Republic have reiterated their commitment to further enhance the two countriesí friendship for their mutual benefit as well as recognised steps that are being taken to strengthen and diversify existing cooperation.
The close ties between both countries were acknowledged by His Majesty the Sultan and Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong who met yesterday at Istana Nurul Iman.
Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong of the Lao Peopleís Democratic Republic is in Brunei Darussalam for a two-day official visit until today on the invitation from His Majesty.
In a joint statement, His Majesty appreciated the significance of the visit of Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong at a time when Brunei Darussalam and the Lao Peopleís Democratic Republic will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations (1993-2013).
The leaders exchanged views on developments in their respective countries and bilateral relations as well as on regional and international issues of common interest.
His Majesty congratulated the Lao Government for the important achievements in the national development and reforms efforts and expressed confidence that the Lao Peopleís Democratic Republic would achieve its long-term vision of graduating from the least developed country status by 2020.
Towards the end, Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong expressed his sincere appreciation for the contributions and assistance rendered by the government of Brunei Darussalam to the Lao Peopleís Democratic Republic.
Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong then praised His Majestyís leadership in Brunei Darussalamís national development efforts and expressed his firm belief that the country would successfully realise its Vision 2035 of becoming a developed and prosperous country with an important role in the regional and international fora.
The leaders acknowledged with satisfaction the regular exchange of high level visits as well as at the senior officials level taking place over the years and agreed to encourage further exchanges in the future.
In recognition of the importance of enhancing people to people contacts, the leaders agreed to ensure the effective implementation of the Memorandum of Understandings on sports cooperation and cultural cooperation.
The leaders also agreed to strengthen cooperation in the area of youth development and welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in this area.
Both leaders also stressed the need to enhance the bilateral trade and welcomed the convening of the Business Forum as an important initiative to encourage interactions of the business communities of both countries and an opportunity for them to explore business opportunities available in each country.
The leaders exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual concern and agreed on the need to enhance cooperation within the regional and international fora.
His Majesty congratulated the Lao PDR for the successful hosting of the 9th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit from November 5 to 6, 2012 in Vientiane, Lao Peopleís Democratic Republic.
His Majesty also expressed confidence that the Lao PDRís recent membership in the World Trade Organisation will facilitate the country in its economic development efforts.
Both leaders also reiterated their strong commitment to work closely with other Asean member states in building the Asean community and deepening of partnership between Asean and its dialogue partners.
In this regard, Thongsing Thammavong reaffirmed the Lao PDRís support in ensuring a successful Asean year under Bruneiís chairmanship in 2013.
The leaders expressed satisfaction with the outcomes of their meeting which was held in a cordial and friendly atmosphere of mutual understanding and trust.
Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong expressed his deep gratitude to His Majesty for the warm welcome and kind hospitality extended to him and his delegation during the visit.
The Prime Minister of Lao PDR also extended an invitation to His Majesty and Her Majesty to make a state visit to the Lao Peopleís Democratic Republic at the time convenient to both sides.
The invitation was accepted with pleasure and will be informed through the diplomatic channels of both countries.
- Borneo Bulletin
(3 March 2013)