Tue, 10 May 2011

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Laotian government has asked Indonesia to encourage its national businessmen and state-owned companies to invest in that country.

Laotian Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong made the request in a bilateral meeting with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the Merdeka Palace here Monday.

"The value of Indonesia-Laos trade in 2009 reached 5.10 million up to 6.25 million US dollars. Economic development in Laos is being intensified, therefore the country is offering investment opporunities in various sectors," presidential spokesman Teuku Faizasyah said at a press conference at the presidential office, after accompanying the head of state in the bilateral meeting.

Laos had a seven-stage development programs with each stage covering a period of five years, similar to Indonesia`s "Repelita" (Five-year Development Plan) implemented by the government under former President Soeharto, according to Faizasyah.

The two heads of government in the bilateral meeting also discussed efforts to intensify bilateral cooperation in the security field, especially to deal with human trafficking.

"Laos also asked for Indonesia`s support for its intention to host the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting and ASEAN Summit in 2012," he said.

The two leaders also discussed their countries` contribution to efforts to heighten the region`s food security and production capacity , the presidential spokesman said.

President Yudhoyono on the occasion thanked Laos for its support during the 18th ASEAN Summit in Jakarta, May 7-8. He also expressed Indonesia`s wish to participate in the economic development program in Laos which has a population of 6.5 million.

After the meeting, the president, who was accompanied by a number of ministers, hosted a luncheon for Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong.

The Laotian prime minister met Yudhoyono after participating in the 18th ASEAN Summit.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) groups Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.