Laos and Australia Upgrade Bilateral Relations

Australian PM Anthony Albanese with ASEAN leaders during the 2nd ASEAN-Australia Summit

The announcement was made after the 2nd Annual ASEAN-Australia Summit and East Asia Summit that took place during the 2022 ASEAN Summit last week in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. 

Lao Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh and Australian PM Anthony Albanese agreed on Saturday to elevate the bilateral relationship between the two countries to a Comprehensive Partnership.

Laos and Australia established diplomatic relations on 15 January 1952 and completed 70 years of diplomacy this year. In October, Mr. Saleumxay Kommasith, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs met with Penny Wong, Australia’s foreign minister, in Australia to commemorate the longstanding partnership between their nations.

The relationship between Laos and Australia is built on mutual respect and understanding and elevating it will explore more areas for bilateral and regional cooperation, including energy, climate and transnational crime.

On the occasion PM Albanese said, “Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh and I had a fruitful discussion… we spoke of the growing closeness of our two countries and plans to continue our constructive relationship with a formal Comprehensive Partnership.

“This is a sign of the growing substance of our relationship and our commitment to expanding and strengthening cooperation. I look forward to continuing to work alongside our Laos partners as we strive towards our shared goals for the region.”

The respective Foreign Ministers were also roped in to develop a plan to strengthen cooperation in line with the new Comprehensive Partnership.

Further discussions included potential developments in trade and investment, a mutual commitment to a stable, peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific region and Australia’s appreciation for Laos’ role as our ASEAN Country Coordinator.