On February2, 2018, the launching ceremony of the Lao National Water Information Center aided by the Chinese government was convened in Vientiane, the capital of Laos. Mr. Thongloun, Prime Minister of Laos, and Mr. Chen Lei, Minister of Water Resources of China, jointly unveiled the nameplate of the center. Mr. Sommad, Minister of the Lao Natural Resources and Environment, was also present. Prime Minister Thongloun visited the center after the ceremony.
The Lao National Water Information Center, as one important component of the bilateral MOU on Water Project Cooperation signed under the witnesses of President Xi Jinping and President Bounnhang, is a pilot project aided by the Chinese government, and also one of the early-harvest outcomes of the Langcang-Mekong cooperation.
Prime Minister Thongloun pointed out that the construction of the Lao National Water Information Center is the concrete result of implementing the consensus reached by the presidents of two countries. By adopting the state-of-art concepts, know-how and equipments, China provides a valuable assistance to Laos, which fully reveals the profound friendship between the people of two countries. As a member of the Lancang-Mekong cooperation, Laos is committed to strengthening pragmatic water cooperation between China and Laos, in order to upgrade the Lancang-Mekong cooperation and boost the building of a community with a shared future for the Lancang-Mekong countries. Laos, currently being co-chair of the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation, is ready to hold the third Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Leaders’ Meeting with China in Vientiane. It is hoped that two sides will continuously reinforce water cooperation, forge a model for the Lancang-Mekong water cooperation, and create a sound atmosphere for the third Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Leaders’ Meeting.
Minister Chen Lei highlighted that, being the riverine countries of the Lancang-Mekong River, China and Laos share the same river and common goals, and are good neighbors and long-standing friends. He noted that the Lao National Water Information Center, successfully completed with joint efforts of both sides, boasts of the capacities of automatic data collection and transmission, information processing, early warning and forecasting. This will play an important role in the leap-forward development of the Lao information management for flood control, drought relief and disaster reduction, as well as guaranteeing the sustainable social and economic development. Ministry of Water Resources of China is willing to continue cooperation with the Lao counterparts, to upscale the development of the China-Laos comprehensive strategic partnership and make new contributions to the building of the China-Laos community with a shared future.
Before the launching ceremony, Minister Chen and Minister Sommad conducted a meeting in a friendly manner. Minister Chen put forward three proposals for further deepening cooperation between two ministries, including enhancing high-level visits and policy dialogues, implementing the bilateral water cooperation projects, as well as intensifying bilateral water cooperation under the platform of Lancang-Mekong Cooperation.