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June 25, 2017 -Sunday

 
  OUTCOME OF THE OFFICIAL VISIT OF THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF LAO PDR TO MALAYSIA 17 MARCH 2017

Saturday 18/03/2017



PUTRAJAYA, March 18 (Bernama) -- The Foreign Minister of Lao PDR, the Honourable Saleumxay Kommasith made his first ever Official Visit to Malaysia on 17 March 2017. His introductory visit to Malaysia enabled both countries to further enhance the existing excellent bilateral relations between Malaysia and Lao PDR.
 
During this visit, Minister Kommasith and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Malaysia, the Honourable Dato’ Sri Anifah Haji Aman held a bilateral meeting with fruitful discussions on a wide range of issues of common interest. They identified many areas of cooperation which could be explored for future collaboration. These included trade and investment, finance and banking, transportation and tourism, education, human resource, health and defence cooperation.
 
On exchange of high-level visits, Minister Kommasith informed the Dato’ Sri Anifah Haji Aman of a proposal for the visit of the Prime Minister of Lao PDR, the Honourable Dr Thongloun Sisoulith to Malaysia in May this year. Dato’ Sri Anifah Haji Aman welcomed the proposed visit and believes that the visit would provide further impetus to the blossoming of bilateral relations.
 
In addition to this development, Dato’ Sri Anifah Haji Aman informed Minister Kommasith that the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, the Honourable Dato’ Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, plans to undertake an official visit to Lao PDR. The visit will be the Deputy Prime Minister’s first Official Visit to Lao PDR since assuming office on 29 July 2015.
 
Trade and investment between the two countries were highlighted in the bilateral meeting. Total trade in 2016 increased by 120% amounting to USD 30.96 million compared to USD 14.03 million in 2015. Malaysia was also among the top five investors in Lao PDR with investments worth USD 1 billion worth in various development projects. In this regard, Lao PDR is committed to ensure ease of doing business for Malaysian investors.
 
On banking and finance cooperation, Minister Kommasith mentioned that currently four Malaysian commercial banks are operating in Lao PDR. These are CIMB Bank, Maybank, Public Bank and RHB Bank. These banks have started to expand their operations with branches around Vientiane in 2016. Lao PDR welcomes more Malaysian banks to venture and operate in the country to further strengthen its financial institutions.
 
On education, Minister Kommasith mentioned that Malaysia has been a top destination for Laotian students pursuing their tertiary education and foresees that the number of Laotian students to Malaysia will increase exponentially in the future. Malaysia welcomes qualified Laotian students to apply the Malaysian International Scholarship (MIS). Currently there are over 100 Laotian students in Malaysia.
 
With regard to human capital, Minister Kommasith further expressed that one of his main priorities is to ensure the development of human capital in Lao PDR especially for its diplomats. As such, he conveyed Lao PDR’s interest to establish closer collaboration between the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations (IDFR) and the Institute of Foreign Affairs of Lao (IFA) and hopes that this collaboration would revitalized the existing ties between the two Foreign Ministries to a higher level. Dato’ Sri Anifah Haji Aman agreed that there is a need for such collaboration and said that IDFR will discuss further with IFA on this proposal. He further reiterated that Malaysia is committed to continue providing training to Lao officials under the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme (MTCP).
 
Defence and security cooperation was also discussed in the meeting where both countries look forward towards the conclusion of the MoU on Defence Cooperation between Malaysia and Lao PDR.
 
With regard to ASEAN, both sides discussed mutual economic and security issues in the region. Both leaders also look forward for the upcoming 30th ASEAN Summit under the stewardship of the Philippines to discuss the progress of the implementation of ASEAN Vision 2025. As 2017 also marks the 50th Anniversary of ASEAN, a number of commemorative activities will be organised to celebrate the momentous occasion.
 
Apart from the bilateral discussions held, Minister Kommasith took the opportunity to visit the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations (IDFR) in Kuala Lumpur.
  
As both countries celebrated its 50th Anniversary of the Diplomatic Relations in 2016, the Official Visit of His Excellency Kommasith served as a demonstration of the unwavering commitment of both sides to propel the existing relations to a higher level in the next decade.

SOURCE : Ministry of Foreign Affairs

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Name : AZREEY ABU KASIM
Assistant Director
Department of Communications and Public Diplomacy
Email : azreey@kln.gov.my

--BERNAMA

 
 
 

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