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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Indian loan to power up Laos

The government of India has provided Laos with a loan of US$72.55 million to develop two electricity infrastructure projects.

A loan agreement was signed yesterday in Vientiane by representatives from the Lao government and the Indian Exim Bank in the presence of the two countries' presidents, according to the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Indian president Pratibha Devisingh Patil and her delegation concluded a five-day state visit to Laos yesterday, undertaken in response to an invitation from her Lao counterpart Mr Choummaly Sayasone.

According to the ministry, India will consider providing further low interest rate loans to help Laos implement priority development projects.

A number of successful outcomes were reached during the visit of President Patil, according to the ministry.

The two presidents held bilateral talks and exchanged views on a wide range of issues in relation to bilateral cooperation between Laos and India.

Both leaders said they highly valued the traditional friendly relations and sound cooperation between the two countries over the 54 years since diplomatic ties between Laos and India were established on February 2, 1956.

The two nations have maintained regular exchange visits by officials at various levels, particularly between leaders.

The Lao side expressed heartfelt appreciation and thanks to the government and people of India for the assistance they have extended to Laos.

Both sides affirmed continued mutual assistance and support to one another through both bilateral and multilateral cooperation frameworks on the regional and international stage to bring tangible benefits to the people of the two countries.

President Patil also received courtesy calls from Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh and President of the Lao National Assembly Thongsing Thammavong.

Both leaders attended a ceremony to witness the signing of an extension to a cultural exchange agreement between Laos and India for 2011-2013.

The two leaders, via video conference, jointly pressed a button to inaugurate a 115KV transmission line electricity project in Champassak province.

The 53km long Pakxong-Chiangxai-bangyo double circuit transmission line project was financed by a soft loan provided by the government of India.

The two presidents attended a ceremony to witness the signing of a Letter of Expression of Investment Interest between the Indian-based Tata Company and the Lao ministries of energy and mines, and planning and investment.

They also witnessed the signing of cooperation documents between the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Lao National Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

Both sides expressed satisfaction with the successful and meaningful outcomes reached during President Patil's visit, which brought the traditional friendly relations and cooperation between Laos and India to new heights.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update September 14, 2010)