On April 11, 2018, the 1st Session of the China-Laos Inter-governmental Joint Committee on Science and Technology Cooperation was successfully held in Beijing. The meeting was co-chaired by Minister Wang Zhigang of the Ministry of Science and Technology and Minister Boviengkham Vongdara of the Ministry of Science and Technology of Laos. According to the Agreement on Science and Technology Cooperation between the Government of the People‘s Republic of China and the Government of the People’s Democratic Republic of Laos signed by the heads of state of the two countries in November 2017, the two sides has set up an Inter-governmental Joint Committee on Science and Technology Cooperation. The session is one of the means for the implementation of the consensus reached by leaders of the two countries.
At the meeting, Minister Wang Zhigang remarked that China and Laos are both socialist countries under the leadership of communist party with long-standing traditional good-neighborly relations. The Nineteenth Congress of the Communist Party of China stressed that innovation represents the primary driving force for development and a strategic underpinning for building a modern economic system. Adhering to reform and opening-up is one of the basic principles for China to develop and innovate on science and technology, and China‘s science and technology opening and cooperation with other countries will not slow down but can only get stronger and wider. Standing at a new historical starting point, we are willing to work with the Lao side to further match each other’s development strategies, specify pragmatic projects for cooperation in fields of mutual interest, strengthen cooperation in the creation of a favorable environment for innovation, mobilize the enthusiasm of universities, research institutes, enterprises and other main entities in both countries, release the innovative enthusiasm and potential of their scientific and technological personnel, and generate more benefits for the peoples of the two countries.
Minister Boviengkham Vongdara expressed his appreciation for the remarks made by Minister Wang Zhigang. He expressed gratitude to the Chinese side for its assistance in recent years to the Lao side in training scientific and technological talents and building STI capability through STI cooperation projects, S&T and management training courses and other channels. Minister Boviengkham Vongdara put forward key fields of cooperation, including strengthening the exchanges and training of scientific and technological talents, building joint laboratories and promoting STI cooperation in the Lancang River - Mekong River region. He also expressed the hope to work with the Chinese side to further bilateral cooperation in science and technology innovation and promote the development of friendly relations between the two countries under the framework of the Joint Committee on Science and Technology Cooperation.
At the meeting, the two sides exchanged in-depth views on people-to-people exchanges in science and technology, co-building of joint laboratories and technology transfer centers, cooperation in science parks, and other key topics under the framework of the Belt and Road Science and Technology Innovation Action Plan, and both sides agreed to use the above areas of cooperation as the carrier at the next stage, pragmatically promote bilateral cooperation in science and technology innovation, and better serve the economic development and livelihood improvement of the two countries. The two sides agreed that the 2nd Meeting of the China-Laos Inter-governmental Joint Committee on Science and Technology Cooperation be held in Laos in due time.