by H.E. Saleumxay KOMMASITH, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Lao PDR at the reception on the occasion of the 70th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the Lao PDR and the France Republic, Vientiane, 17th November 2023
J’ai un grand honneur et plaisir de représenter le gouvernement lao d’assister et de commémorer avec madame l’ambassadrice le 70ème anniversaire de l'établissement des relations diplomatiques entre Le Laos et La France, qui marque une autre étape importante dans les relations amicales de longue date et bonne coopération entre nos deux pays.
It is my great honour and pleasure to represent the Lao Government at this reception to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Laos and France, which marks another important milestone in longstanding friendly ties and good cooperation between our two countries.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Laos and France share long-standing legacy and on 22nd October 1953 we signed a friendship treaty which was considered as a turning point of relations between Laos and France. Since then, the bilateral and friendly relation has entered a new era based on mutual respect, sovereignty and independence. In 1989, the two countries signed a cooperation agreement in the fields of science, technology and culture, which has extensively brought a lot of benefits to the Lao PDR. In the political and diplomatic area, the two countries have enhanced at the high level. The high-ranking officials between the two countries have the regular exchange of visits, such as:
At the same time, the two countries have also coordinated, collaborated and supported one another in both regional and international arenas, particularly in the framework of La Francophonie, UN, ASEM, ASEAN and other international organizations.
Two countries Laos-France have increased socio-economic cooperation mainly in the areas: Trade-investment, Education, Heath, Energy, Agro-ecology, Sustainable tourism, culture and etc.
The most welcome and please is the two countries have tried to promote trade and investment cooperation, in which the value of bilateral trade reached $38 million in 2022. French investments in Laos have 227 projects with a total value of 558 million dollars and France is ranked No. 8 of the foreign investments in Laos. These are qualified investment projects. Moreover, there is the relationship between people and people which can be seen that every year numerous peoples of two countries have travelled in each country, especially during the 9 months of 2023, according to tourism statistics, 26,794 French tourists visited Laos.
All of these reflect our strong commitment to continuously strengthening the cooperation and relationship between the two countries.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
France is one of the important development partners of Laos. The assistance and support of France have significantly contributed to the socio-economic development of Lao PDR, poverty reduction and the improvement of the livelihood of Lao people. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the Government of the Lao PDR, to express my sincere thanks and gratitude to the French Government for the support and valuable assistance provided to the Lao PDR in the past as well as the commitments to continue cooperation for the development of the Lao PDR in the future, in both bilateral and multilateral frameworks. I highly appreciate the development of Lao-French relations and stand ready to work closely with the French government to further enhance and bring our friendly relations and tangible cooperation into a new height for common benefits of our two peoples.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
To mark the historical 70th anniversary of Laos and France, the two countries organized many activities such as: the Lao Embassy in Paris organized the lecture on the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Laos and France at Sorbonne University; a meeting to promote and advertise Lao tourism, and also a Lao-France economic Forum. At the same time, the French Embassy in Vientiane also organized many crucial events such as the Laos and France Fashion Week, the festival France-Laos and a joint Laos-France friendship Tree planting at Chao Anouvong Park. Specifically, both countries launched the France-Laos Economic Forum which is the first meeting ever to gather the Lao companies and foreign investors to exchange their opinions on promoting the investment and trade cooperation in Laos.
Thus, I would like to express my special congratulations to Ambassador, all staffs of the French Embassy as well as the parties concerned for the excellent arrangement of this meaningful event.
Lastly, I wish Ambassador Siv-Leng CHHUOR, all colleagues from the French Embassy as well as all distinguished guests present here this evening good health, happiness and every success in your noble tasks.