Anwar arrives in Vientiane for two-day official visit

26 Jun 2023 08:34pm
Anwar arrives in Vientiane for two-day official visit - Bernama Pix
Anwar arrives in Vientiane for two-day official visit - Bernama Pix
VIENTIANE - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim arrived here today for a two-day official visit to Laos to further strengthen bilateral relations and economic cooperation with the ASEAN member state.

Anwar’s maiden visit to the country that will take the helm of ASEAN Chairmanship next year was at the invitation of his Laos counterpart, Dr Sonexay Siphandone.

The special aircraft carrying the Prime Minister and his wife, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail landed at the Wattay International Airport at 5.50 pm local time (6.50 pm in Malaysia).

He was greeted by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir, Laos Head of Prime Minister’s Office Alounxay Sounnalath and Laos Deputy Foreign Minister Phoxay Khaykhamphithoune.

Anwar is scheduled to hold an engagement session with leaders of Muslim organisations in the country to discuss the issues of the Ummah at a hotel here later tonight.

Tomorrow, a bilateral meeting with Siphandone is scheduled at the Prime Minister’s Office preceded by the official welcoming ceremony where the national anthem of the two countries will be played followed by the inspection of guards of honour by Anwar, accompanied by Siphandone.

Anwar and Siphandone will then witness the signing of memoranda of cooperation (MoC) between Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) and Lao National Railway State Enterprise (LNRSE) as well as Mutiara Perlis Sdn Bhd (MPSB) and Thanaleng Dry Port (TDP).

Both leaders will also witness the exchange of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) and Electricite du Lao (EDL).

They will proceed with a joint press conference before continuing with an official luncheon hosted by Siphandone, followed by Anwar’s courtesy call on Laos President Dr Thongloun Sisoulith at the Presidential Palace.
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In the afternoon, the Prime Minister will hold a high-tea event with the Malaysian diaspora at the Malaysian Embassy here where he will also be officiating the embassy building.

Some 230 Malaysians in Laos, mostly professionals and business people, are expected to attend the event.

The Prime Minister will then hold a press conference with the Malaysian media before paying a courtesy call on Laos National Assembly President Dr Xaysomphone Phomvihane at the National Assembly building to close his two-day official visit here.

The total trade between Malaysia and Laos surged by 425 per cent from US$48.7 million (RM202.5 million) in 2021 to US$255.6 million (RM1.13 billion) in 2022, mainly contributed by the increase in demand for Malaysia’s electronic products.

Malaysia is Laos' fourth biggest foreign direct investment (FDI) contributor last year after China, Thailand and Vietnam, mainly in the energy sector, free trade zone, automotive and banking sectors.

Malaysia and Laos have established diplomatic relations since July 1, 1966.- BERNAMA