VIENTIANE, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- Ministers and senior officials from Laos and Malaysia have discussed ways to strengthen their cooperation in the tourism sector, as well as other fields of mutual interest.
The meeting took place on the sidelines of the ASEAN Tourism Ministers' Meeting, which is being held in Lao capital Vientiane from Jan. 22 to Jan. 27, Lao national radio reported on Friday.
The Lao delegation was led by Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Suanesavanh Vignaket, while the Malaysian delegation was headed by Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Tiong King Sing.
Speaking at the meeting, Suanesavanh said the two ministries will work closely together to strengthen cooperation and their strategic partnership in tourism, which is one of the important components of the ASEAN framework.
"Laos, as the ASEAN chair for 2024, and Malaysia, as the ASEAN chair for 2025, will work together to promote the three pillars of ASEAN," she added.
The Lao minister expressed her appreciation for the support and assistance that Malaysia has provided to Laos in developing human resources, especially in the tourism sector.
Meanwhile, Tiong said Malaysia highly values its relations with Laos and is keen to expand cooperation in tourism and other fields.
The Malaysian minister said he hoped that cooperation between the two ministries would help to increase the number of tourists and enhance the quality of tourism services in both countries.
Malaysia is one of the major sources of tourists from the ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region to Laos, with 14,990 Malaysian nationals visiting Laos in 2023.
The two ministers also exchanged views on regional and international issues of common interest and reaffirmed their commitment to working together for the benefit of their citizens and the development of the region, according to the report. ■