PRESIDENT U Htin Kyaw pledged to support Laos in its ASEAN Chairmanship on his one-day goodwill visit to Laos in response to an invitation from the President of The Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mr. Bounnhang Vorachit.
The President expressed his willingness to see Lao play a greater part in the region and pledged to support Laos’ ASEAN Chairmanship at bilateral talks with his Laotian counterpart.
Together with President U Htin Kyaw, Daw Su Su Lwin, wife of the President, Union Minister for Foreign Affairs and President Office Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Union Minister for Information Dr Pe Myint visited the LPDR yesterday morning.
During the talks, the President stressed the need to enhance cooperation between the two peoples to bolster existing friendship between the two countries, acknowledging the long running diplomatic ties between Myanmar and Laos, unbroken now for 60 years.
In his response the Laotian President expressed his willingness to boost cooperation in trade, education, public health and the hotels and tourism sector.
The two leaders held comprehensive discussions on further people-to-people connectivity and government-to-government connectivity and the holding of bilateral ministerial meetings.
Next, the President and party held talks with Laotian Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith on implementation of matters discussed between the two Presidents.
During his visit to Laos, the President laid a wreath at their Unknown Soldier Monument and visited Thatluang Pagoda the National Museum and Wat Si Saket in Vientiane. Before leaving for Myanmar, the President met with diplomats and their families of the Myanmar Embassy in Laos and Myanmar scholars at the Landmark Mekong Riverside Hotel.
Daw Su Su Lwin, wife of the President, visited Song Mue Nang Handicraft, Wat Si Muang and Ammalin Lao Silk Handicraft in Vientiane.
Likewise, State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi held talks with Lao National Assembly Vice Chairperson Mr. Somphanh Phengkhammy on further cooperation between the two parliaments.
The President and party arrived back in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday evening. They were welcomed back at Nay Pyi Taw Airport by Vice-Presidents U Myint Swe and U Henry Van Thio, Commander-in-Chief of Defense Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and officials.
Laos established diplomatic relations with Myanmar on 12 July, 1955, with the opening of its Embassy in Yangon the following year. The Laotian Embassy was reopened after nearly nine years of closure under financial constraint in 1980. The Myanmar Embassy opened doors in Vientiane in 1967.
Under a bilateral trade agreement in 1995 in Yangon and border trade agreement in 2000 in Vientiane, Myanmar-LPDR bilateral trade totaled US$0.401 million for the 2013-2014 FY. Myanmar mainly exports chickpea to Laos and imports electrical equipment, pharmaceutical products and plastic raw materials. (Documentary photos of President U Htin Kyaw’s visit to Laos are available at www.globalnewlightofmyanmar.com)