Members of the German Parliament visited Laos and several other Southeast Asian nations this week to enhance bilateral cooperation between Germany and ASEAN.
Ms. Gabriele Katzmarek, Member of the German Bundestag, and her delegation, was welcomed at the Embassy of Germany in Laos on Monday by the German Ambassador to Laos, Ms. Annette Knobloch.
The visit of the ASEAN parliamentary delegation this year reflected particular attention to issues of the region’s smaller nations such as Laos, which has faced a number of challenges in terms of economic development owing to the continued high inflation and devaluation of the local currency.
“During our trip, we are not only focusing on economic cooperation, but also on human rights. We have met with Myanmar’s representatives to discuss and address the situation in that country as well,” said Ms. Gabriele.
The delegation from the German Bundestag will be visiting Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Myanmar this week and will continue their trip to other ASEAN nations. As part of its presence in Southeast Asia and through this official visit, Germany hopes to diversify political and economic relations and contribute to well-above-average economic growth in the region.
In Laos, the German parliament members discussed and exchanged various issues on bilateral cooperation between Laos and Germany with representatives from the Lao government.
According to German officials, the resumption of development cooperation is important in the context of Germany’s Indo-Pacific policy, but in addition also significant from a bilateral perspective as the country completes 65 years of diplomatic relations in the region in 2023.
The bilateral cooperation is also a sign of solidarity and support in difficult economic times brought about by the Russian war on Ukraine.
In addition to development cooperation, establishing human ties is also vital to Germany’s development cooperation in the region. To date, over 2,000 Lao nationals have received education or vocational training in Germany with the assistance of the German government’s humanitarian aid program, according to Ms. Annette.
Earlier this month, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier made his first historic three-day official visit to Cambodia that was aimed at enhancing political and economic ties with Southeast Asia.