VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/Asia News Network): Laos has promised to continue working closely with Japan to encourage further cooperation in cultural and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.
This partnership is aimed at ensuring that Laos’ chairmanship of Asean next year achieves the intended goals and benefits for Asean countries and strengthens the Asean community.
The promise was made by Laos’ Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Suanesavanh Vignaket, when she held talks with Japan’s Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Tetsuo Saito, in Tokyo, after they co-chaired the Asean-Japan Tourism Ministers’ Special Dialogue on Oct 28.
Suanesavanh said Laos’ chairmanship of Asean in 2024 will work to build cooperation in the region amid the economic downturn and seek solutions to the challenges that Asean and Laos are facing by encouraging economic integration, strengthening connectivity, and building capacity in various fields.
The minister also said Laos is ready to work closely with Asean member countries and Japan to complete the implementation of various projects and activities so that targets are met.
Suanesavanh said she highly valued the close cooperation that has between ongoing between Asean and Japan since 1973.
This partnership has seen constant growth over the past 50 years, helping to strengthen the Asean community and efforts to narrow the development gap between Asean member states, improve connectivity, and foster closer people-to-people links between Asean countries and Japan.
“This Asean-Japan Tourism Ministers’ Special Dialogue is an important platform for the sharing of ideas and lessons, focusing on sustainable tourism and cultural practices among Asean members,” the minister said.
“The comments made by participants at this meeting will not only be an important contribution to future Asean-Japan cooperation, but will also set the direction for the implementation of joint activities to enhance tourism cooperation and cultural exchanges between the two regions,” she added.
On behalf of the Lao government, Suanesavanh invited everyone attending the meeting to visit Laos next year to enjoy the colourful programme of events on offer during Visit Laos Year 2024.
The Asean-Japan Tourism Ministers’ Special Dialogue this year held under the theme of Japan-a land of endless discovery to commemorate the 50th year of Asean-Japan Friendship and Cooperation, and to discuss the “Next 50 Years with Asean and Japan: Designing the Path to Sustainable Tourism Together”.
More than 11,200 Japanese people visited the Laos in the first six months of 2023, while in the same period last year has 6,848 Japanese visitors come to Laos.