VIENTIANE: The second Belt and Road Forum for Laos-China Cooperation kicked off here ON Thursday (Dec 7) to discuss the implementation of the outcomes of the meeting between the top leaders of the two parties and the two countries, and the building of the China-Laos community with a shared future.
Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Chinese president, met in October with Thongloun Sisoulith, general secretary of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP) Central Committee and Lao president.
The two leaders signed a 2024-2028 action plan between the CPC and the LPRP on building the China-Laos community with a shared future, which has given new connotations to the relationship between the two parties and the two countries.
In a congratulatory letter to the forum, Thongloun said 2023 is a historically important year for the cooperation between Laos and China.
The new five-year action plan is an important document of strategic significance for the two countries to strengthen close cooperation and high-quality development in the new period, said the Lao president.
As an important platform and mechanism for implementing the five-year action plan, the Lao leader said in the letter, the forum will make positive contributions to deepening mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples.
He said the LPRP and the Lao government attach importance to and support the strategic alignment between the Belt and Road Initiative and the planned transformation of Laos from a land-locked to a land-linked country.
The cooperation between Laos and China has proved with practical actions that outcomes of the Belt and Road cooperation such as the Laos-China Railway, social and cultural projects, and the Laos-China Economic Corridor have brought tangible benefits to Laos and other developing countries, said the Lao leader.
The forum was jointly organised by the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism of Laos, Xinhua News Agency and the Lao Chinese Chamber of Commerce, under the theme of "China-Laos Community with Shared Future: New Era, New Opportunities, New Paradigm."
Lao Deputy Prime Minister Kikeo Khaykhamphithoune said that the forum provides a good opportunity to promote the cooperation between the two countries in the fields of economy, trade, investment and tourism.
He said the theme of the forum focuses on the building of the Laos-China community with a shared future, which is in line with the interests of the people of the two countries, and will help to show the international community the important results of the Laos-China Belt and Road cooperation in the past 10 years.
The close and efficient cooperation between the two countries will further consolidate and advance the building of the Laos-China community with a shared future, and promote world peace, stability, friendship and sustainable development, he said.
Fu Hua, president of Xinhua News Agency, attended the forum and delivered a speech. He said the forum is a concrete step to implement the results of the meeting between the top leaders of the two parties and the two countries in October, and is a platform to discuss cooperation and seek common development.
As China's national news agency and an international news agency, Xinhua has always been committed to contributing to the exchanges and cooperation between China and Laos.
Looking forward, Xinhua is willing to further leverage its unique advantages to expand exchanges and cooperation with all walks of life in Laos, provide strong support for Laos as it assumes the Asean (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) chairmanship next year, and further promote China-Laos relations, Fu said.
Wang Chang, charge d'affaires of the Chinese embassy in Laos, and Lao Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Suanesavanh Vignaket also addressed the opening ceremony.
At the forum, China Economic Information Service, a subsidiary of Xinhua, published a report on new opportunities of the China-Laos economic and trade cooperation in the new era. A series of cooperation agreements were signed, covering fields including finance, media, telecommunications, as well as culture and tourism.
Participants also visited a photo exhibition on the achievements of the China-Laos community with a shared future.