Strengthening ties with Laos

Australian Border Force Commissioner (ABF) Roman Quaedvlieg and the head of the Lao Customs Department, Mr Bounpaseuth Sikounlabout, signed the Memorandum of Understanding on November 17.

Also in attendance were Australia’s Ambassador to Laos, John Williams, and Laos’ Vice Minister for Finance, Mme Thipphakone Chanthavongsa.

“This arrangement provides a framework for future engagement,” said Commissioner Quaedvlieg.

“It reflects the importance of working in partnership with our regional neighbours to combat transnational crime and the movement of illicit drugs, particularly through information sharing.”

Commissioner Quaedvlieg said Australia’s strong relationship with Laos was underpinned by the two countries’ shared interests in facilitating the legitimate flow of people and goods throughout the region.

Bilateral cooperation between the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the Lao Customs Department has increased significantly over the past 18 months.

“This year, we have provided training to our Lao counterparts in vessel search, information analysis, document examination and English language courses,” Commissioner Quaedvlieg said.

“In addition to our bilateral engagement, the Department remains committed to a number of multilateral initiatives in which the Lao PDR participates.”

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