Mexico-Laos: A young, yet strong bilateral relation

In an interview with Mr. Mai Sayavongs, Ambassador of Laos to the United States with current accreditation to Mexico, we discussed a bilateral relation of more than 40 years, trade possibilities, and culture
Mexico-Laos: A young, yet strong bilateral relation
Mr. Mai Sayavongs, Ambassador of Laos to the United States with current accreditation to Canada and Mexico - Photo: Sofía Danis/EL UNIVERSAL in English
07/06/2018
12:22
EL UNIVERSAL in English/Sofía Danis
Mexico City
-A +A

“Whenever Laos approaches Mexico, Mexico supports Laos,” underlines Mr. Mai Sayavongs, Ambassador of Laos to the United States with current accreditation to both Mexico and Canada, in an interview with EL UNIVERSAL in English in Mexico City.

Mexico-Laos: A bilateral relation of more than 40 years

A little-known fact is that only a year after the foundation of the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) in 1975, Mexico and Laos established diplomatic relations back in November 29, 1976, to be precise.

“Whenever Laos approaches Mexico, Mexico supports Laos. Whenever Mexico approaches Laos looking for support, Laos supports Mexico. We support each other,” recounts Mr. Sayavongs when asked regarding the bilateral relation between the countries.

Trade and Investment

The Lao PDR is a Southeast Asian country bordered by China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Myanmar, indisputably, Mexico and Laos are far away from each other, but in the Ambassador’s opinion, there is a reasonable trade potential among both nations that should not be ignored: “I do hope that in the near future, our countries will enhance their cooperation in trade and investment.”

“Mexican investors can look for opportunities to invest in the country,” considering that electricity (hydropower), gold and other mining products, textiles, coffee, timber, and forest products, are some of the main export products of Laos.

Currently, Laos imports machinery, gas, and oil from different countries, thus Mr. Sayavongs believes that the commercial relation of both countries could be enhanced in those products: “I understand, that Mexico exports technology to different countries, maybe we can look for the opportunity to export technology, machinery, oil and gas from Mexico to Laos.”

In spite of the millions of unexploded bombs that remain hidden in fertile soil in the country, the Lao PDR is primarily an agricultural economy, thus Mr. Sayavongs highlighted the possible collaboration among the nations as Mexico has a strong agricultural output as well: “We can cooperate in the agricultural area.”

Cultural similarities

Despite the differences between the countries in terms of language—Lao language is the main language spoken in the country, yet English is widely understood in the cities— religion—Buddhism (Theravada Buddhism) its primary religion—, and even weather, Mr. Sayavongs believes that Mexico and Laos are very similar in their core, kind and generous in spite of the distance.

It should be noted that Laos was invited for the fifth time to Mexico’s International Friendly Cultures Fair (FICA), a great step in acknowledging the potential that the nations have from a cultural approach, according to Mr. Sayavongs.

sg

Mantente al día con el boletín de El Universal