Prime Minister, Sonexay Siphandone, held bilateral meetings with the Prime Ministers of Australia and Timor-Leste, along with the Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) during the 43rd ASEAN Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia on Wednesday.
During the meeting with Antony Albanese, Australia’s Prime Minister, both leaders acknowledged the long-standing bilateral relationship and collaboration between the two nations, spanning 71 years.
According to the Lao National Radio, both leaders also expressed eagerness to continue developing the Lao-Australian Comprehensive Partnership in the near future.
Additionally, both leaders conveyed appreciation for joint efforts by the two nations within the ASEAN-Australia cooperation framework, particularly during Laos’ role as the ASEAN-Australia coordinating country from 2021-2024.
Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone then met with Timor-Leste’s Prime Minister, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao, reaffirming Laos’ support for Timor-Leste’s ASEAN membership.
Currently, Timor-Leste is only a part of the bloc in principle, however, a road map for the nation’s full membership has been agreed upon after its first submission to become a member over a decade ago.
Both leaders expressed high regard for the strong friendship and cooperation between Laos and Timor-Leste over the past two decades as well.
On the same day, Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone also met with Mrs. Kristalina Georgieva, Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Their discussions focused on past cooperation between Laos and the IMF, as well as plans for future collaboration.
The IMF’s support for economic and financial development since 1961 has significantly contributed to the socio-economic progress of Laos, and it is hoped that this support will continue, especially as Laos prepares for its ASEAN chairmanship in 2024.
Laos’ Prime Minister also witnessed the handover of the chairmanship of the ASEAN Business & Investment Summit (ABIS) from Indonesia to Laos, during his official visit to Jakarta this week.