The Cambodia-Laos Parliamentary Friendship Group is committed to enhancing relations in areas of security, trade, workforce development and improving the populace’s well-being, with a particular focus on border efforts. Both countries have observed progress in bilateral relations, particularly in education and efforts to curb drug trafficking.

The pledge was affirmed during a meeting with Loy Sophat, head of the Cambodian National Assembly’s (NA) Commission on Planning, Investment, Agriculture, Rural Development, Environment and Water Resources, and Vongsack Phanthavong, chairman of the Lao NA’s National Defence and Security Committee. 

The meeting took place on the sidelines of a formal visit by a Cambodian delegation to Laos, led by Cambodian NA president Khuon Sudary, on December 3. 

According to a December 4 press release from the Cambodian NA’s General Secretariat, the discussions highlighted bilateral relations and cooperation, educational scholarships within the framework of the two NAs and collaborative efforts to tackle drug trafficking across the border.

“Both of us were committed to deepening relations and cooperation for the sake of human resources, security, economies, trade and improving the livelihoods of people, especially in border cooperation,” it stated. 

On the same day, Cambodian NA secretary-general Leng Peng Long held talks with his Lao counterpart Pingkham Lasasimma. 

Peng Long suggested that the Lao side consider technical-level discussions to formulate action plans and align the signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the objectives of the two NAs. 

“Under the new government, we have set the goal of serving the people, developing human resources, and boosting the digital economy,” stated Peng Long. 

Pingkham emphasised the importance of legal consistency in cooperation, particularly for the Cambodia-Lao-Vietnam Development Triangle Area (CDTA).

Seun Sam, a policy analyst at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, commended the strengthening relationship between the two NAs and broader bilateral relations. 

He noted the strong neighbourly relations and similarities in culture, tradition, livelihoods and knowledge between the two nations.

“For the two countries to grow closer, we should increase the frequency of visits by leaders, officials, students and people, in addition to talks and discussions. These are effective mechanisms for both sides to strengthen their relationship,” he stated. 

He noted that despite their proximity, the two countries had not been meeting frequently for discussions. He encouraged both sides to engage more in talks, exchange visits, scholarships and study trips.