Wen Jiabao Arrives in Laos for Visit, GMS Summit
On the evening of March 29, 2008, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao arrived in Vientiane by special plane, starting his working visit to Laos at the invitation of Lao Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh. Wen will also attend the 3rd Summit of the Great Mekong Subregion countries scheduled to be held from March 30 to 31 in Vientiane.
At 8:30 p.m. local time, Premier Wen's special plane landed at the Wattay Airport in Vientiane. Bosaykham Vongdara, Lao minister of energy and mines and president of the Lao-Chinese Friendship Association, Chinese Ambassador to Laos Pan Guangxue and other officials welcomed Premier Wen at the airport. Those greeting Wen and his entourage at the airport also included Chairman of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Ma Biao and Governor of Yunnan Province Qin Guangrong, as well as the staff of the Chinese embassy in Laos and representatives from Chinese students, Chinese-funded institutions and overseas Chinese.
Wen, on his first foreign visit since being re-appointed premier in March, will meet with Lao President Choummaly Saygnasone and hold talks with his Lao counterpart Bouasone. Both sides will raise proposals on furthering bilateral cooperation to push for new progress of the cooperation in key areas. They will also exchange views on international and regional issues of common concern. Wen and Bouasone are scheduled to attend the signing ceremony of a series of cooperation agreements.
The theme of the triennial meeting is to "Enhance Competitiveness Through Greater Connectivity" and Wen will attend a range of activities including its opening ceremony and a close-door meeting of leaders, witness the signing of relevant cooperation documents and sign with other leaders a declaration. At the close-door meeting, Wen will fully elaborate China's proposals on the GMS cooperation and its future development and deliver a keynote speech on enhancing infrastructure connectivity, raising China's views and proposals on infrastructure, trade-transport facilitation, public health and human resources development.
The GMS, whose members include Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar and China, was established in 1992 with the aim of promoting economic ties, removing poverty and boosting development.