Vientiane: Vice President Hamid Ansari today held talks with the top Laotian leadership on a host of issues including bolstering bilateral trade and investment as part of India's push to strengthen its economic engagement with ASEAN nations.
Ansari, who arrived here yesterday for a two-day visit, the first by an Indian Vice President to this country, held talks with his counterpart Bounnhang Vorachith at the presidential palace after which delegation-level parleys took place.
Two MoUs, including one on "quick impact projects" and another on air services agreement, were signed between the two sides after the talks.
Indian firm WAPCOS was also handed over certificate of completion of Champassak irrigation project.
Ansari also called on Laos President Choummaly Sayasone and met Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong.
The Vice President, who was given a ceremonial welcome this morning at the presidential palace, also laid a wreath at the Soldiers' Monument?built to commemorate Laos' heroes.
He also visited the That Luang Stupa, which has a relic from Buddha that was brought from India in the 2nd century BC.
"This sacred stupa, Laos' National symbol is a testament of the strong bonds of friendship and cooperation that exist between our two countries. Our destinies were linked with the ancient past and will continue to be linked and flourish in the distant future," Ansari wrote in the visitors' book.
Ansari's visit to Laos and Cambodia comes in the backdrop of India's pitch to strengthen economic engagement with ASEAN countries.