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Vietnam, Laos Collaborate Information Security, Cyber Capacity Building

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Vietnam has announced it is prepared to offer Laos further support to ensure information security as the country is taking the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2024, marked by a series of high-level conferences, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Huy Dung has stated.

Image credits: VNA

At a working session with Lao Deputy Minister of Technology and Communications Keovisouk Solaphom as part of the Laos Digital Week 2024, Dung said that last year, his ministry assisted Laos in implementing the national information security monitoring and management system. This support involved issuing alerts about potential cyber-attacks targeting government agencies to the relevant authorities.

Both officials agreed to bolster exchanges and actively support the implementation of specific projects to enhance the capabilities of the Lao National Cyber Security Centre staff. Additionally, they committed to helping Laos in terms of human resources training, particularly in the domains of fintech and digital transformation.

Emphasising Vietnam’s commitment, Dung underscored the country’s readiness to aid Laos in formulating a strategic blueprint for advancing the country’s domain ” .la.”. This covers aspects such as management policy, the management model, collaboration between registries, and a detailed roadmap and activities aimed at fostering development. Such assistance is poised to play a vital role in enhancing e-commerce and e-government initiatives within the neighbouring nation.

The working session explored an array of topics, including the development of information technology and communications, as well as the ongoing digital transformation processes in both countries. Furthermore, during the event, the Vietnam National Internet Centre signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with the Lao National Internet Centre and the Lao Department of Telecommunications. These agreements aim to increase cooperation in internet resource sharing and the measurement of internet speed in Laos.

In 2023, Vietnam invested US $116.6 million in Laos, marking a significant surge of 65.3% compared to the previous year. The accumulated disbursed capital reached approximately US$ 2.75 billion. Vietnamese investors fulfilled financial obligations amounting to around US$ 200 million in Laos, contributing to a cumulative total of about US$ 1.7 billion since 2015. Moreover, they allocated US$ 150 million towards social welfare activities in Laos. Meanwhile, Laos is investing in 18 projects in Vietnam with a combined capital of US$ 110 million.

For this year, the countries outlined major orientations to strengthen their partnership during the 46th meeting of the Vietnam-Laos Intergovernmental Committee for Bilateral Cooperation. The meeting was co-chaired by Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and his Lao counterpart Sonexay Siphandone.

Vietnam and Laos will deepen their political-diplomatic relations, emphasising the maintenance and enhancement of the efficiency of bilateral cooperation mechanisms. Additionally, both nations aim to strengthen defense-security cooperation, exchange macroeconomic management experiences, and foster connectivity between their economies.

The two nations are committed to enhancing bilateral trade with a target of 10-15% growth this year. Their focus will include strengthening connections in transport infrastructure and promoting cooperation in agriculture and rural development.

Vietnam and Laos will prioritise and enhance the quality of collaboration in education, training, and human resources development. As part of this commitment, Vietnam has agreed to award 1,120 scholarships to Lao officials and students for studies in Vietnam. Additionally, Vietnam will send teachers to Laos to facilitate the teaching of the Vietnamese language.

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