Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (R) and his Lao counterpart Thongloun Sisoulith shake hands at a border marker near the new La Lay International Border Gate on June 25. Photo credit: Dan Tri
Vietnam and Laos celebrated the opening of a new border gate linking the north-central province of Quang Tri and the southern Lao province of Salavan on Wednesday, Vietnam News Agency reported.
The La Lay International Border Gate is the second border gate linking Vietnam and Laos in Quang Tri, along with Lao Bao.
The new border gate is expected to boost cooperation and trade between the central provinces and Lao, Thai and Cambodian localities along the East-West Economic Corridor.
It is also expected to promote economic, investment, cultural and tourism ties between neighboring provinces of Vietnam and Laos.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said at the inauguration ceremony that eight international border gates have been built so far along the 2,000-km shared border between the two countries.
He said he believes that the La Lay border gate will open up new opportunities in trade, investment and tourism for localities of Vietnam and Laos as well as those in southeastern Thailand and northeastern Cambodia.
The increased connectivity, he said, is a step toward realizing the establishment of a more tightly-connected ASEAN Community by 2015.
For his part, Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Thongloun Sisoulith reiterated that Vietnam and Laos have shared a traditional friendship and solidarity as neighbors.
The total 834 markers planted along the shared border so far have reflected the common wish of both countries to build peace, friendship and prosperity, he said.
He also expressed a belief that the upgrade of the La Lay border gates will benefit residents from both sides, raising two-way trade and facilitating travel, trade and tourism activities, and at the same time broadening the connectivity between the two provinces and the region.
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