Sri Lanka-Greater Mekong Business Council engages with Vietnam Ambassador on trade partnerships

Saturday, 8 June 2024 00:05 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

From left: Ranil Chandrasekara, Shaameel Mohideen, Ranil Seneviratne, SLGMBC Immediate Past President Mahen Weerasekera, President S.M.D. Suriyakumara, Vietnam Ambassador Ho Thi Thanh Truc, Tilak Gunawardane, Nishan Seneviratne, SLGMBC Vice President Tran Trong Thanh, Vietnam Embassy Counsellor and Deputy Chief of Mission Noory Kiyas, and Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Secretariat’s Amanthi Silva


A recent meeting between the Sri Lanka-Greater Mekong Business Council (SLGMBC) of the Ceylon Chamber and the Ambassador of Vietnam to Sri Lanka Ho Thi Thanh Truc, focused on identifying strategies to boost production, increase exports, and attract investments in various sectors, including agriculture, construction, logistics, tourism, and pharmaceuticals.

During the discussion SLGMBC President Suriyakumara emphasised the importance of attracting Vietnamese investors to Sri Lanka, particularly in agriculture and manufacturing, where there is significant potential for growth. They highlighted the need to boost Sri Lanka’s production and exports through strong business partnerships.

Investment in agricultural production and processing was a major focus, with the Council citing Vietnam’s successful models as examples. Specific areas like cashew and coffee production, where Vietnam excels, were identified as potential sectors for valuable expertise and investment.

Recognising the potential in tourism, the Council proposed initiatives to attract more Vietnamese tourists to Sri Lanka. Discussions included cultural exchange programs and establishing direct flight connections to enhance tourism flow between the two countries.

The Council explored opportunities for educational collaboration, noting the increasing interest among Vietnamese students to study in Sri Lanka. The potential for collaboration in English medium education was highlighted, emphasising the relevant affordability and quality of Sri Lanka’s English education system compared to other countries. Establishing partnerships with educational institutions was seen as a promising avenue for growth. 

Given Sri Lanka’s heavy reliance on pharmaceutical imports, the Council identified this sector as a priority for investment. Collaboration with Vietnamese pharmaceutical companies could significantly reduce dependency on imports and help develop a robust local manufacturing base.

The potential for joint ventures in construction and infrastructure projects was discussed. Sri Lanka’s need for modern infrastructure presents an attractive opportunity for Vietnamese investors.

Addressing logistical challenges, the meeting proposed solutions to streamline business operations and facilitate smoother trade between the two countries. The importance of direct flights to reduce travel time and costs was underscored as a critical factor in boosting tourism and business travel.

The Ambassador expressed strong support for these initiatives and reiterated Vietnam’s commitment to enhancing economic cooperation with Sri Lanka. She mentioned Vietnam’s commitment to bringing more business delegations to Sri Lanka to explore potential avenues for strengthening economic ties.

The SLGMBC aims to continue fostering these discussions and implementing the strategies outlined during the meeting. Future events are planned to further solidify the partnership and create concrete opportunities for collaboration.