South Korea has agreed on the framework for the provision of continued assistance for socio-economic development in Laos. The agreement was reached on Monday during the visit of a high-ranking delegation led by Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn at the invitation of Lao Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong, The Vientiane Times reported on Tuesday (15 Dec 2015).
The cooperation framework signed during the visit included a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on South Korea’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) projects to Laos for 2016, and the soft loan project from the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) for the period from 2016 to 2019.
The visit of Prime Minister Hwang is taking place as the two nations celebrate this year’s 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.
Currently, South Korea is the sixth ranked country investing in Laos, with some 257 projects that have a combined investment value of US$800 million. Trade volumes between the two countries reached US$199 million this year, with Lao exports to South Korea valued at US$12 million and imports from South Korea at US$187 million.
More than 292,000 South Korean citizens have visited Laos in the past seven years, 96,000 of whom in 2014.