Vietnam and Laos have inked a MoU on boosting their comprehensive cooperation in agro-forestry, fisheries and rural development with a focus on science and technology, training, investment and trade.
The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Vietnamese Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat and Lao Agro-Forestry Minister Sitaheng Rasphone in Hanoi on September 14.
Under the MoU, which is part of the two Governments’ Cooperation Agreement, the two sides will continue implementing projects to build agriculture-rural area-farmer development strategies and zone off agricultural areas for Laos .
The MoU also mentions several new projects in 2011, including Lao Fisheries Development Planning for 2011-2020, research on creating new varieties of maize and upgrade of an animal quarantine post at the Densavanh border gate in Sepon district as well as a project on transferring flood and drought management software.
The two countries’ agricultural ministries will strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation to realise their regional and international commitments in the fields of climate change, reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+), food security and safety, and strengthening management and enforcement of laws on forestry and forest product trade.
Earlier, the two sides held talks during which they informed each other about each country’s agricultural development situation. The two ministers agreed to speed up the trading of agro-forestry products between the two countries, remove trade barriers and facilitate investment activities by Vietnamese and Lao businesses.
According to Minister Phat, the Vietnam-Laos agricultural cooperation has seen remarkable results recently with the effective prevention of cross-border infectious diseases among animals and the signing of cooperation agreements on protecting watershed and border forests as well as the planting of rubber trees in Laos. The two countries aim to have more than 24,400 ha planted with rubber trees by the end of this year.
He also suggested the two sides further strengthen bilateral ties in the fields of veterinary, animal quarantine and afforestation./.