The relations between the Lao PDR and great powers have seen positive escalation, while the nation has maintained normalcy in its relations with developed countries, reflecting some remarkable achievements in Laos’ foreign affairs.
The achievements were disseminated at the 13th meeting on foreign affairs, which opened yesterday in Vientiane, with Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Saleumxay Kommasith presiding over the meeting to review the performance of the sector over the past three years.
A report disseminated at the meeting remarked on two events including the second political consultation held in Moscow, Russia, and the 11th meeting of the Laos-Russia joint commission on trade-economic and scientific-technical cooperation as achievements towards the active improvement and upgrade of relations with great powers.
These have contributed to deepening the friendship and good relationship between Laos and Russia, as well as between the two ministries of Foreign Affairs, the document stated.
Meanwhile the relations between Laos and the United States have seen the exchange of visits between top leaders, and the visits of high-level delegations and experts. The two countries signed an agreement earlier this year on trade and investment during the special ASEAN-US Summit.
The United States is considering granting rights under the Generalised System of Preferences to Laos as a least developed country, aimed at promoting imports from Laos to the United States, with a special focus on textile and garment products.
In addition, the European Union announced at the Laos-EU JC meeting held in Brussels in 2014 that it would provide 207 million euros as Official Development Assistance to Laos from 2014 to 2020.
The cooperation between Laos and France was noted as a historical milestone, with France continuing the provision of US$25 million a year as assistance in the second phase for bilateral cooperation projects in agriculture, health, cultural and education infrastructure.
The meeting was held under the theme: Preventive diplomacy and breaking through in the mission of national defence and development, enhancing ownership for regional and international integration.
The ministry’s leaders, department directors, ambassadors, diplomatic permanent representatives and consular generals overseas, as well as senior diplomats were in attendance to identify deficiencies and seek solutions for addressing them, and making new achievements in the nation’s foreign affairs.
Strengthening the capable leadership and the ownership of civil servants in the sector was a special topic of discussion at the meeting.
The government has been actively promoting its cooperation with the international community following the direction of building a state governed by the rule of law through implementing its obligations to the international community.
As of today, Laos is party to more than 900 international conventions. In relation to 450 of these conventions, it has bilateral agreements with 65 countries.
As of this year, the Lao PDR has diplomatic relations with 139 countries around the world, and maintains 39 embassy offices overseas. Of this number, 26 are embassies, three are permanent representative offices, nine are consul generals, one is a consulate office, and the nation also has honourary consulate offices in 17 countries.
The ministry has a total personnel of about 1,000 people, of whom 250 people are implementing their mandates in overseas locations.
Source: Vientiane Times