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* Sri Lanka-Vietnam trade center opens in Colombo
Thu, Aug 7, 2014, 01:28 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Aug 07, Colombo: Sri Lanka and Vietnam officially opened a business center Wednesday near the capital Colombo to introduce Vietnam's investment environment and cooperative prospects for trade to the Sri Lankan business community.

Sri Lanka- Vietnam Business Centre opened in Kelaniya is a venture promoted by the APL Group.

The Center is expected to strengthen the relationship between the two countries, economically and technologically, by attracting more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and providing foreign employment opportunities.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Governor of Sri Lanka's Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal expressed hope that the center will serve as a bridge to further promote trade, investment and tourism between the two nations and the center would help meet demand of the business fraternity in both countries.

Vietnam's Ambassador to Sri Lanka Ton Sinh Thanh said the opening of the trade center took place amid rapid development in bilateral relations.

Over the past three years, bilateral trade between the two nations' grew on average by 30% per year - the highest growth rate of all South Asian nations - and hit US$109 million in the first half of the year while Sri Lanka's exports to Vietnam stood at US$43 million. This year's trade is expected to surpass US$ 200 million.

Thanh said huge opportunities remain for trade between the two countries once barriers such as high taxes and cumbersome procedures are removed and by entering into a preferential trading agreement or free trade agreement.

Exchange of trade delegations and participation in trade fairs between the two countries would further elevate the economic cooperation, he said.

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