Malaysia is now the 8th largest foreign investor in Lao PDR rising from the tenth position in 2010.
The bilateral trade values between Laos and Malaysia continue to grow, although at a more modest scale.
Malaysia is fortunate to have its fair share of the global tourism market that is expanding. With the successful “Year of Festivals (MyFest) 2015”, the country received 25.7 million tourist arrivals last year, compared to less than ten million tourists a couple of years ago.
With a contribution of US$17.3 billion to the Gross National Income, the tourism industry currently stands as the third largest foreign exchange earner for Malaysia, offering diverse world-class attractions and tourism related services.
Malaysian ambassador Dato Than Tai Hing hosted a reception on Wednesday to celebrate the 59thanniversary of the Independence of Malaysia in Vientiane and to mark the 50th anniversary or “golden jubilee” of Malaysia – Lao PDR diplomatic relations.
“Over the past 50 years, we have forged a close friendship and strategic partnership for cooperation. Both sides enjoy steady progress with the substantive growth in economic cooperation benefitting from the concerted efforts in promoting trade and investment, people-to-people ties, as well as exchanges of high level visits,” said the ambassador.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Saleumxay Kommasith, high-ranking government officials, diplomatic corps, representatives of international organizations, and invited guests attended the reception held at Settha Palace Hotel.
“I wish to take this opportunity to commend and express my appreciation to the Lao government for the opportunity given to the Malaysian private sector and business community to not only set foot in the Lao PDR, but expand their economic presence in various areas of mutual interest and benefits including the Special and Specific Economic Zones, banking and financial services, insurance, tourism, manufacturing, education, mining, construction, and especially in railway and hydropower, agriculture, trade and consultancy,” said Mr Dato.
“The existing three times weekly AirAsia direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Vientiane and the introduction of the Kuala Lumpur-Luang Prabang route beginning Nov 21, 2016, has and will continue to play significant roles in contributing to the growth of the economy of Laos,” said the ambassador.
“I take this opportunity to reaffirm Malaysia’s commitment to further strengthen our multifaceted cooperation and partnership at the bilateral level as well as at the regional level through ASEAN,” said the ambassador, adding that Malaysia would work side by side with the Lao PDR to realize their common desire to create a peaceful and prosperous ASEAN Community and achieve the ASEAN Vision 2025.