“Vietnam’s imports from Sri Lanka has increased sharply, reaching US$ 10.1 million, up 111% over (US $4.8m in 2011) during first quarter 2012” said Counsellor/Deputy Head of Mission Phung Trong Tuan representing Ambassador for Vietnam in Sri Lanka Ton Sinh Thanh at the Second Annual General Meeting of the Sri Lanka-Vietnam Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.
According to statistics of Vietnam customs, import and export turnover of Vietnam and Sri Lanka in the first quarter of 2012 continued positive growth, with USD 27.6 million, increased by 81% in comparison with the same period in 2011 (US$ 15.3 million).
In particular, exports from Vietnam reached US$ 17.5 million, up 68% (from US$10.5 million same period last year) and Vietnam’s imports from Sri Lanka increased sharply, reaching US$ 10.1 million, up 111% over (US$4.8 million in 2011) the same period in 2011.
Tuan further stated that the relationship between the two countries has rapidly been developing, especially after the re-opening of the Vietnamese Embassy in Colombo and the State visit of Vietnamese President to Sri Lanka last year.
During the visit, the two Governments concluded eight agreements and number of Memoranda of Understanding in different areas of co-operation. In the joint statement after the visit, the two Presidents also set an ambitious two-way trade target of US$ 1.0 billion by applying different measures including the possibility of a Preferential Trading Arrangement between Sri Lanka and Vietnam in the future. Sri Lanka-Vietnam Business Council Outgoing President Anton Godfrey appreciated the support received by the Council from the Sri Lanka Embassy in Vietnam, Embassy of Vietnam in Sri Lanka and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry during the Council’s maiden trade and investment promotion mission to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh early this year. “Mission to Vietnam in 2012 was a very successful visit with economic seminars and B2B meetings with Vietnamese counterparts. Most of the delegates concluded business agreements with leading Vietnamese companies during the mission. It was revealed that some of the delegates will be re-visiting Vietnam shortly on follow up action of their business tie ups,” said Godfrey addressing the members of the Council.
Godfrey further stated that there is no doubt that the success of the visit has attributed to the sharp increase of trade between the two countries in the first quarter 2012.
Dipped Products PLC Managing Director Dr. Mahesha Ranasoma was unanimously elected by the membership of the Council as the President of the Sri Lanka-Vietnam Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.
“At the launch of the Council under the aegis of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in June 2010, we requested re-opening of the Embassy of Vietnam in Colombo and we are glad that within one year, the Embassy was re-opened in Colombo facilitating smooth issuance of visa to visit Vietnam. Now we urge the two Governments to consider facilitating direct flights between the two countries to expand inbound and outbound travel,” said Dr. Ranasoma, emphasising the importance of establishing direct flights between the two countries to further expand not only trade volumes, but also inbound and outbound tourism which is yet to develop.
The newly appointed Office Bearers comprised of President Dr. Mahesha Ranasoma, Immediate Past President Anton Godfrey and three Vice Presidents, namely Patrick Rodrigo, Andre Fernando and Vinodh Hirdaramani.
The Committee will be represented by Astron Ltd., Brown & Co. PLC, Merchant Lanka Pvt. Ltd. and Ranfer Group. Lilakshi de Mel, Senior Assistant Secretary General will represent the Secretariat of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.