VIENTIANE (ANN/VIENTIANE TIMES) – Australia has reiterated its commitment to support Laos to deliver a successful Asean Chair in 2024, according to the Australian Embassy in Vientiane.
“Australia and Laos’ partnership is based on trust and respect, built on over 70 years of relations… we’re working closely together as Laos prepares to chair Asean in 2024,” Australia’s Foreign Minister, Penny Wong, stated on her Facebook page.
Penny Wong made the commitment while visiting Laos on May 15-16 in response to an invitation from Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Saleumxay Kommasith.
The Australian government is committed to deeper collaboration and cooperation between Australia and Southeast Asia, including Laos.
“The 2023-24 budget includes more than AUD55 million to further our engagement – investments which will complement the government’s Southeast Asia Economic Strategy, to be released later this year,” Wong said.
As Laos has an important role to play in Southeast Asia’s future, Australia is keen to work together with Laos to build a safe, stable and prosperous region where Asean and Asean-led institutions hold the centre.
The visit gave Wong the opportunity to listen and understand Laos’ national priorities for trade and investment, development cooperation and regional connectivity.
Wong’s time in Laos reflects the commitment made between the prime ministers of the two countries last November, when they announced an intention to elevate the Laos-Australia relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership.
Wong held productive discussions with Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone and other leaders.