Vietnam to increase bilateral relations and trade with Sri Lanka aiming to raise bilateral trade to US$1 billion
Chairperson of the National Assembly (NA) of Vietnam, Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân reportedly informed Sri Lanka’s Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya that Vietnam wishes to advance its relationship with Sri Lanka and has suggested increasing exchange of all-level delegations to increase bilateral relations and trade.
The Vietnamese political leader has met with her Sri Lankan counterpart on the sidelines of the 138th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly (IPU-138) in Geneva, Switzerland.
She has told Speaker Jayasuriya that Vietnam always attaches importance to the time-honoured friendship with Sri Lanka, and wishes to advance the relationship on the basis of potential and advantages of each side, the official Vietnamese News Agency reported.
According to the Vietnamese media reports, NA Chairwoman Ngân suggested the two sides increase the exchange of all-level delegations, soon organise the fourth meeting of the Joint Committee at the foreign ministerial level in Sri Lanka in 2018, and implement the security dialogue mechanism at the public security ministerial level at an early date.
It is necessary for both sides to effectively materialise outcomes of the visit to Vietnam by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as well as signed cooperation documents, and consider adjusting and signing other documents suitable to the new situation, she has said.
Noting trade revenue between Vietnam and Sri Lanka, which exceeded US$ 200 million in 2017, the NA Chairwoman has reportedly said the two countries have substantial potential for cooperation, urging them to utilise such potential, especially in key areas like oil and gas, infrastructure, information and communication technology, garment-textile, rubber, leather and footwear, agricultural product processing and distribution, dairy production and consumption, renewable energy, and air and maritime transport.
She has also proposed the early organisation of the second meeting of the Joint Trade Sub-committee to discuss measures to raise bilateral trade to US$1 billion, and intensify trade promotion and connection, especially in the aviation sector.
According to Ngân, Vietnam is willing to share experience and technologies in agro-fisheries development with Sri Lanka, while hoping that the two sides will continue supporting each other and avoid competition in several products that both have strength such as tea, coffee and aquatic products.
Meanwhile, Speaker Jayasuriya has said both the President and Prime Minister of Sri Lanka are interested in Vietnam’s development, and wish to enhance cooperation with the country.
He has said he hoped that the two countries will launch a direct air route to facilitate bilateral investment and tourism ties.
The interest expressed by Vietnam to improve bilateral and trade relations with Sri Lanka with the aim of increasing bilateral trade to US$ 1 billion has opened up many business opportunities between the two countries. The growing relations could be used by foreign businesses/investors to use Sri Lanka as a base for their business work with Vietnam and other ASEAN countries.
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