The Hanoitimes - On Jul 5, the second Cultural, Sports and Tourism Exchange Festival for Vietnam – Laos border areas officially opened in Son La Province, with Vietnamese National Assembly (NA) Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan and Lao NA Chairwoman Pany Yathotu in attendance.
The event is part of four main activities organised to celebrate the 55th anniversary since the establishment of Vietnam - Laos diplomatic ties and 40 years since the signing of the Vietnam - Laos Treaty on Amity and Cooperation in Son La Province.
Vietnamese NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (left) and Lao NA Chairwoman Pany Yathotu attend the opening ceremony for the festival.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Vietnamese Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien and Chairman of Son La provincial People’s Committee Cam Ngoc Minh emphasised that the solidarity between the two nationals was first established, preserved and nurtured by Vietnamese President Ho Chi Minh and Lao Presidents Kaysone Phomvihane and Souphanouvong, as well as the following generations of leaders and citizens of the two countries.
In addition, the special relation between the two countries has developed continuously and has become an invaluable common asset of Vietnam and Laos, proving to be a major factor in ensuring the victories of the two nations, they added.
An arts programme at the opening ceremony, themed “Vietnam - Laos Friendship Song”, featured the participation of artists from Son La province and Lao localities, left great impressions on the audience.
The festival features a wide variety of activities, including a programme promoting Vietnamese cultural and tourism products, an arts photo exhibition introducing the people and the potential of ten of the Vietnamese provinces sharing their border lines with Laos, as well as public arts programmes.
On the same day, on behalf of the Vietnamese Party and State, NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan presented 11 Independence Orders (second class), 74 Independence Orders (third class) and three Labour Orders (first class) to the leaders of 15 Lao provinces for their outstanding achievements in enhancing the traditional friendship and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries over recent years.
The Vietnamese legislative leader also offered incense at the Son La Prison Cemetery in remembrance of the war heroes and martyrs.
Before that, a high-ranking delegation from the Lao National Assembly (NA) led by its Chairwoman Pany Yathotu arrived in Hanoi on July 3, beginning a six-days visit to Vietnam. Vietnam and Laos have recorded fruitful development in their relationship in various fields in recent years, especially in politics.
They two sides have cooperated closely at regional and international forums, contributing to each nation's development and maintaining peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.
Joint statements and high-level agreements reached by leaders of the two Parties and States have been implemented, with the two sides exchanging high-raking visits, helping to enhance mutual trust between the Parties, Governments and people of Vietnam and Laos.
Bilateral defence cooperation has also improved, while the two countries have built a Vietnam-Laos borderline of peace, stability and cooperation, and fought hostile forces and transnational and drug crimes.
Vietnam now has 408 projects worth 3.7 billion USD in Laos, contributing to the country’s socio-economic development and creating jobs for many local labourers.
Vietnam and Laos have also cooperated in transport, education and training, and links among their ministries and sectors and border localities have been strengthened.
The two sides have fostered affiliation in science, technology, natural resources and environment, agriculture, telecommunications, labour, culture, museum and tourism, health care, and human resources development.
Source: Nhan Dan