Laos seeks to further collaborate with EU

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/6/27 19:35:07

A high-ranking Lao official has confirmed the country's willingness of further collaboration with the European Union (EU) during an event celebrating 20 years of their cooperation, Lao News Agency (KPL) reported Tuesday.

Laos and the EU celebrated the 20th anniversary of their cooperation in Lao capital Vientiane on Monday.

At the event, Souphanh Keomixay, Lao minister of planning and investment, said: "The EU has been a long standing partner with the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) since 1997 and we look forward to our continuous collaboration under the framework of the 8th national socio-economic development plan and the achievement of the sustainable development goals."

In his remarks, EU Ambassador to Lao PDR Leo Faber said: "Twenty years ago, in April 1997, EU signed a Cooperation Agreement with the Lao People's Democratic Republic. The agreement recognized the excellent relations and ties of friendship and cooperation between the European Community and the Lao PDR at the time. With the signature of the agreement, we had laid the foundation for our cooperation."

They jointly opened a photo exhibition that represents some of the milestones of the cooperation between Laos and EU over the last 20 years since the signing of the cooperation agreement in 1997 to the opening of EU office in 2003, and the posting of a first resident Ambassador in 2016 - Leo Faber, the current Ambassador.

EU is now one of Laos' biggest development partners in terms of grant aid for development cooperation and humanitarian assistance. The EU program for Laos focuses on nutrition, education and governance, but also tackles issues such a UXO clearance, gender equality and climate change.

Since 2016, the European partners are coordinating more closely on development cooperation through the European Joint Programing (2016-2020) which sets out a common vision and priorities, KPL reported.

There has been continuous dialogue on issues related to sustainable development, improving social service delivery and Laos' transition to an inclusive, open and modern society based on good governance and the rule of law.

Posted in: CROSS-BORDERS

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