Lao president calls for nations to strengthen unity to address challenges


President Thongloun Sisoulith. - The Star file pic

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN): President Thongloun Sisoulith has called for friendly nations in the region and around the world which are suffering the same fate to strengthen their trust and unity to overcome the challenges they currently face.

Thongloun made the call when speaking at the online Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2021 held in Boao, south China’s Hainan province, on Tuesday (April 20).

China’s President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech via video during the opening ceremony of the conference, which was attended by senior officials from China as well as heads of state and government from 29 countries.

The Lao president also highlighted the need, not only to reinforce solidarity and consolidate relationships among nations, but also to strengthen global governance and create a brighter future for the world.

According to the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this year’s conference is themed “A World in Change: Join Hands to Strengthen Global Governance and Advance Belt and Road Cooperation”.

The conference aimed to strengthen solidarity and expand the fine tradition of cooperation in Asia, allowing leaders in the region to discuss plans in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Asia-Pacific region is suffering from the global health crisis and an economic slowdown.

It is essential to jointly fight the virus outbreak and concentrate on economic recovery cooperation as well as address other issues occurring in the region.

The Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2021 is a landmark for Laos, allowing its top leader to discuss challenges and exchange views with other regional leaders, researchers, and policy makers on possible solutions to regional problems and enhanced cooperation on various issues, notably those relating to economic integration, ICT infrastructure and Laos’ transformation from a land-locked to a land-linked country.

The Lao government has stated that the Belt and Road Initiative is playing a significant role in helping the land-locked country to develop its economy and address its geographic disadvantages.

As a result of Belt and Road Initiative cooperation, the Laos-China railway linking Vientiane to the Chinese border is now under construction and scheduled for completion at the end of this year.

The railway is not only the main railway line in Laos but also connects to China and other Asean countries and is designed to promote regional cooperation and connectivity. Convenient transport links will also boost trade, investment and tourist arrivals in the region.

The forum, now celebrating its 20th anniversary, has not only played a unique role in pooling consensus and putting forward valuable “Boao proposals”, but has also engaged countries in addressing global issues and promoting world development and prosperity, according to a Xinhua report. - Vientiane Times/Asia News Network

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