Vietnam's cooperation assured -Viet FM
Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh told his Sri Lankan
counterpart that Vietnam looks forward to working closely with Sri Lanka
in the months to come.
External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris and Vietnamese Foreign
Minister Pham Binh Minh, referred to the decision made during the visit
of Vietnamese President Troung Tan Sang to Sri Lanka in October last
year to expand trade between the two countries up to the threshold of
one billion U.S. dollars within three years.
External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L.
Peiris with his Vietnamese counterpart
At the third Joint Commission Meeting of Sri Lanka and Vietnam
chaired in Hanoi by the Foreign Ministers of the two countries, the
focus was on the expansion of trade and investment. Practical modalities
identified by the Ministers for the accomplishment of this objective
included increased connectivity, removal of non-tariff barriers and
movement towards a Preferential Trade Agreement.
Following on the State Visit by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to
Vietnam in October 2009, the Vietnamese President, on his reciprocal
visit to Sri Lanka was accompanied by 30 business leaders.
At the Joint Commission a new bilateral Air Services Agreement was
signed between the two countries. The ministers expressed confidence
that this Agreement would serve as a catalyst in promoting tourism and
people to people interaction.
The two sides agreed on steps for rapid implementation of the
memorandum signed last year between the Presidential Secretariat of Sri
Lanka and the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam on co-operation
in the petroleum sector.
The Foreign Minister of Vietnam agreed to provide substantial support
to Sri Lanka in the agriculture and fisheries sector, the backbone of
the rural economy. Priority will be given to technology transfer in
inland fisheries, aquaculture, ornamental fish breeding and production
of high yielding plant material.
Other fields of collaboration included military training for officer
cadets and training courses for officers for mid-career development.
Sri Lanka welcomed the participation by Vietnam Defence Authorities
in high level conferences organised by the defence establishment,
including the Defence Seminar which will be held in Colombo next month.
The two Ministers agreed to intensify their engagement in the Bali
Process and similar fora, especially on issues connected with
counterterrorism, transnational crime, maritime security and
Vietnam's Foreign Minister recalled that Sri Lanka was one of the
first countries to establish relations with the Socialist Republic of
He expressed understanding of Sri Lanka's situation, consequent on
the detailed briefing which Prof. Peiris gave the Vietnam Minister on
the initiatives under way in Sri Lanka with regard to economic
development and reconciliation.
In Hanoi, the Minister of External Affairs paid a courtesy call on
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, and had discussions with Justice
Minister Ha Hung Cuong of Vietnam in further consolidating the bilateral
Prof Peiris was also invited to deliver a speech at the Diplomatc
Academy of Viet Nam on "Maritime Security."