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Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs has visited Laos to mark the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations and announced new initiatives, including Partnerships for Infrastructure, to strengthen cooperation between the two countries.
On 25 February 2022, the Hon. Marise Payne met with Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh and Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith to honour and discuss 70 years of diplomatic ties between Australia and Laos. Following high-level meetings, Minister Payne was invited to deliver a speech to government officials at the International Cooperation and Training Centre (ICTC) in Vientiane.
During her address, Minister Payne outlined expanded Australian support to Laos as part of strengthened economic cooperation and COVID-19 recovery support. In addition to funding announcements through the Laos-Australia Institute, Mekong-Australia Partnership, and ASEAN-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, she also outlined assistance through Partnerships for Infrastructure on transport connectivity.
“Australia will contribute at least $10 million through our Partnerships for Infrastructure initiative to improve transport connectivity within Laos and with Thailand and Vietnam,” she said.
“This funding will be part of a much larger multi-donor initiative to help Laos realise its economic potential, including by integrating climate resilience and promoting gender and social inclusion through the development of quality transport infrastructure.”
“It will also support upgrades to a key East West connectivity route and ASEAN Priority Project Laos National Road Two in the north.”