Delegates at the workshop (Photo: TDO)
At the workshop, participants agreed that Sri Lanka and Vietnam have good relations in bilateral, regional and multilateral diplomacy. The cooperation between the two countries has expanded to other areas such as politics, trade, economic investment, defense, culture, education, tourism and agriculture.
The strong bilateral relationship has been also marked by high-level visits by leaders of the two countries. Since 1975, 59 visits by political leaders above the deputy minister level have taken place between the two countries. In addition, the Sri Lanka - Vietnam Parliamentary Friendship Group has maintained a close friendship between the Sri Lankan Parliament and the National Assembly of Vietnam.
The two countries have also signed 31 bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding to further promote cooperation.
Sri Lanka and Vietnam have also shared a close commercial relationship over the years, with total trade from January to November 2019 of nearly USD320 million. Vietnam ranks as Sri Lanka’s 23rd in export markets and 19th in its import market. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka ranked Vietnam’s 56th in export market and 58th in its import market.
According to Professor Dang Nguyen Anh, Vice President of the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, the two sides should boost their trade balance through Sri Lanka's increased imports of commercial products from Vietnam; encourage Sri Lankan enterprises to invest in Vietnam in the fields of infrastructure development, high technology, renewable energy, technology transfer and development of supporting industries, creating opportunities for both Vietnamese and Sri Lankan enterprises to participate in global production and supply chains.
Apart from bilateral diplomacy, the two countries can also strengthen cooperation in multilateral cooperation frameworks such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), the United Nations and regional institutions in the Indian and Pacific Ocean.
Speaking at the workshop, Mr. Jayanath Colombage, Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka, emphasized that Sri Lanka would be a bridge for Vietnam's cooperation with important partners in the Indian Ocean, while the relationship between Sri Lanka and Vietnam would also pave the way for Sri Lanka to connect with Southeast Asian countries./.