Sri Lanka, Vietnam agree to raise bilateral trade to $ 1 billion

Tuesday, 18 April 2017 01:07 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Sri Lanka and Vietnam agreed to raise two-way trade turnover to $ 1 billion when Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe met with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc in Hanoi on Monday.

Wickremesinghe is on an official visit to Vietnam from 16-18 April. The visiting Premier and his spouse were greeted at an official welcoming ceremony held yesterday at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi.

Welcoming the Sri Lankan high-ranking delegation led by Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister Phuc reaffirmed Vietnam’s consistent policy of respecting traditional ties and comprehensive cooperation with Sri Lanka.

During the meeting the two leaders expressed their satisfaction at the development of bilateral ties since the establishment of diplomatic ties on 21 July 1970.

“They underlined their determination to elevate the bilateral ties to a new height in a more practical and effective manner in favour of respective advantage and potential,” an official Government statement here said.

The two premiers agreed to cement and deepen political and diplomatic ties, strengthen reciprocal visits at all levels and effectively implement bilateral cooperative mechanisms, especially the fourth meeting of the Joint Commission and the third Political Consultation in 2017.

01-1Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe poses for a photo with Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the Government Office in Hanoi, Vietnam - Reuters 

The two PMs committed to spur cooperation in national defence, information sharing, lawmaking experience, combating transnational crime, boosting coordination in post-war settlement and UN peacekeeping operations.

Highlighting the abundant potential for economic, commercial and investment cooperation, the two leaders agreed to strive for a two-way trade turnover goal of $ 1 billion in the coming years.

The two sides agreed to figure out measures to beef up cooperation in potential and advantageous fields, including petroleum, infrastructure, IT, telecom, garments and textiles, agricultural production and distribution and aquaculture.

The two countries also agreed to enable the enforcement of the agreement on the encouragement and reciprocal protection of investments and the portfolio on fields of investment encouragement and to amend and sign new agreements.

The two PMs pledged to continue giving priority to and facilitating cooperation in other areas such as energy, tourism, education, manpower development and cultural exchanges.

They used the occasion to exchange views on regional and international issues of common concern, applaud closer coordination at regional and international forums and contribute to the cooperation of ASEAN and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in favour of peace, stability, cooperation and development in Asia.

Both sides highlighted the significance of maintaining peace and stability in the East Sea, freedom of navigation and aviation and the peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with international laws.

After the talks, the two Prime Ministers saw the signing of two cooperative documents, including a plan on agricultural cooperation in the 2017-2019 period and an agreement on educational cooperation in 2017-2021, following which they staged a press briefing.

Wickremesinghe was accompanied by Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Mahinda Amaraweera, Minister of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure Harin Fernando, Minister of National Co-existence, Dialogue and Official Languages Mano Ganesan, Parliamentarian Ranjith Aluvihare and a member of the Sri Lankan Muslim Congress.