Vietnam and Laos Shake Hands
Vietnam and Laos opened 2009 by signing an international cooperation agreement, much of which dealt with environmental issues across their borders. As reported by the Vietnam News Agency, the two countries agreed to a sharing of technical and economic advice, as well as something slightly more practical: Vietnam donated aid of $18.3 million to Laos, with Laos agreeing to train 30 Vietnamese students at vocational schools.
A major component of the agreement was the sharing of environmental information and cooperation on mutual public works projects to jumpstart the two countries' economies while also improving agriculture, mining, and environmental protection. Ecotourism will likely enter the mix as well when Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam partner again for the tourism campaign "Three Nations-One Destination."
Laos has long been a trading partner of Vietnam, relying on the country for industrial advice. In 2008, Vietnam became the number one foreign investor in Laos, helping to construct hydropower plants and mines.
-Equatorial Press Staff Report. Photo Courtesy of Abigel.