President Moon Jae-in held a summit with Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith of Laos for 35 minutes from 5:14 p.m. today. The Prime Minister is visiting Korea to attend the ASEAN-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit.
At their summit, the two leaders had extensive discussions on how to expand substantive cooperation, including the promotion of connectivity between Korea and Laos and the strengthening of capacity building.
Noting that the cooperative projects that he had promised during his state visit to Laos in September this year have started to bear fruit, President Moon praised the successful completion of the Mekong River Integrated Management Project, the rural community development project and the first phase of the unexploded ordnance clearance project.
Speaking of his visit to the Port of Busan with Korea’s Minister of Oceans and Fisheries, the Laotian Prime Minister said that he was very surprised and envious to hear that the port is the sixth largest in the world. He went on to say that, although Laos does not have a port because it is landlocked, it plans to build an inland port following discussions with neighboring countries. The Prime Minister then expressed the hope that his country would be able to benefit from Korea’s accumulated advanced technologies, anticipating that they would be able to help Laos attract more investments and tourists.
In regard to the construction of the Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy Dam, Prime Minister Thongloun asked for Korean businesses’ continued interest in hydroelectric power generation in Laos.
President Moon expressed his gratitude to the Prime Minister for showing solid trust in Korean businesses despite the earlier collapse of the dam. Then, the President asked for interest and support so that the trust between the two countries could lead to cooperation on the Phu Noi hydropower generation project.
In conclusion, President Moon expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Thongloun by saying, “Thanks to the Prime Minister, the Mekong-ROK meeting was upgraded to a summit-level conference.” Prime Minister Thongloun replied that the first summit-level Mekong-ROK meeting will finally commence tomorrow, adding that it is a historic moment. The Prime Minister went on to say that since it has now commenced, he believes it will carry on into second and third summits.