Hanoi (VNA), April 8 -- Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien and Lao Minister of Industry and Commerce Malaithong Kommasith signed a new Vietnam-Laos trade agreement following their talks in Vientiane, Laos, on April 8.

At the talks, Minister Dien described industry and trade ties as a pillar of bilateral relationship. In the first three months of this year, two-way trade between Vietnam and Laos hit 417.8 million USD, down 1.8% annually. Vietnam mostly exported petroleum products, iron and steel, machinery and equipment to Laos while importing rubber, wood, ore and minerals from the neighbouring country.

Dien acknowledged Laos's growing production capacity, evidenced by its transition from a trade deficit to a surplus with V...