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Laos official stresses importance of Laos-China relations in new leadership term

Source:   Time:

VIENTIANE, March 21 (Xinhua) -- A senior Lao official has emphasized the importance of Laos-China relations to the new term of the Lao Party Leadership, which began with Monday's re-election of Choummaly Sayasone as Secretary General of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP) at the close of the 9th National Party Congress.

Speaking at a press conference in Laos' capital of Vientiane after the close of the Congress, Deputy Prime Minister and Politburo member Somsavat Lengsavad told Xinhua that "we highly value the comprehensive and cooperative partnership which benefits our two nations and two peoples, and we can clearly witness that Chinese investment in Laos has grown rapidly."

He added that China is now among the leading investors in Laos, and the bilateral trade volume had rapidly increased since the leaders of the two Parties and governments agreed to upgrade relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

"We want to convey gratitude of the Party, government and people of Laos to the Party and people of China for their assistance over the past five years," said Mr. Somsavat.

"As chair of the Laos-China Cooperation Committee, I'm pleased to witness that the China Development Bank has consulted with the Lao Ministry of Planning and Investment, to map out the next five- year plan for the country," he said.

"Furthermore, the Ministry of Commerce of China has sent a team to consult with the Laos-China Cooperation Committee on the country's socio-economic development in the next five years, which will witness increasing cooperation between the two countries," he said.

The Deputy PM also told Xinhua that the construction of a railway project linking the Lao capital with Kunming, China's southwest Yunnan Province, is set to start from next month.

During the 9th Party Congress, which ran from March 17 to March 21, delegates heard a political report by the 8th Party Central Committee on achievements and challenges over the last five years, the National Socio-economic Development Plan for 2011-2015 and the amended Party Statute.

The Congress also selected a new 61-member Party Central Committee and 11-member Politburo, the nation's supreme leadership bodies.

Laos'first National Congress took place in 1955, the founding year of the LPRP.

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