The 14th Lao PDR-Australia Senior Officials’ Talks were held virtually on 26 July 2021. The talks were co-chaired by Vice Minister H.E. Thongphane Savanphet and First Assistant Secretaryfor the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia, Mr Ridwaan Jadwat.
The meeting was hosted by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and was attended by the Lao PDR Ambassador to Australia, H.E. Sisavath Inphachanh and the Australian Ambassador to Lao PDR, H.E. Paul Kelly and representatives from relevant Ministries and agencies from both sides.
This high-level dialogue was held as Lao PDR prepares to become a Country Coordinator for ASEAN-Australia Dialogue Relations for 3 years (2021-2024) starting from August 2021 and ahead of commemoration of the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Lao PDR and Australia in 2022. The agenda reflected the friendly relations and good cooperation which have been enhanced between the two countries in a wide range of areas both bilaterally and multilaterally.
The two countries took stock of their long-standing cooperation and discussed international and regional security challenges. Lao PDR highly values the support for human capacity development, trade and investment, agriculture, all of which have importantly contributed to realizing the Lao PDR’s priorities as stipulated in the 9th National Social and Economic Development Plan.
The two countries also took this opportunity to discuss cooperation across various sectors to promote their mutual interests, support economic development and cooperation to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic and its supports.
Australia congratulated the Government of Lao PDR for its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic through various measures and reaffirmed its commitment to provide support and assistance, including as announced to support the Lao PDR in the fight against the COVID-19 for economic recovery. Lao PDR welcomed the announcement by Australia to assist the Mekong subregion throughtheMekong Australia Partnership. These new initiatives will help strengthen infrastructure development, economic and environmental resilience and build human capacity – including through new scholarships.
Lao PDR will host the 15th Lao PDR – Australia Talks in 2023.