Mr Saleumxay Kommasith (left) shakes hands with Mr Dato’ Sri Anifah Aman
B. Thao Phasavath
(KPL) Laos and Malaysia recorded a significant growth in bilateral trade last year as it jumped by 75% to USD 30.9 million from 2015 figures.
The investment of Malaysian companies in Laos also increased to US$ 820 million through 104 projects, making Malaysia the fifth largest foreign investor in Laos, following China, Vietnam, Thailand and Japan.
In November 2016, AirAsia opened one more air route from Kuala Lumpur to Laos, increasing the number of flights to Laos to four a week including three flights to Vientiane and one flight to Luang Prabang.
At a bilateral meeting in Kuala Lumpur, the Lao Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Saleumxay Kommasith, and his Malaysian counterpart, Dato' Sri Anifah Aman, appreciated preparations made for the signing of an MoU on scientific, technological and innovational cooperation between the Ministry of Science and Technology of Laos and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation of Malaysia.
Both sides also discussed preparations for the 4th Joint Committee on Bilateral Cooperation Meeting.
The Lao side appreciated the Malaysian government for its support to Laos when the latter hosted ASEAN Summits and related summits in Vientiane in 2016. The Malaysian government also provided financial support of US$ 65 million for power grid improvement and expansion in Vientiane Capital and the northern provinces of Laos as well as for human resource development assistance through the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme.
Since 1991, more than 1,400 scholarships have been provided to Laos through the programme.