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* Sri Lanka PM, Vietnam leaders discuss strengthening ties, cooperation on regional and global issues
Tue, Apr 18, 2017, 08:38 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 18, Hanoi: Sri Lanka's Prime Minster Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is on a state visit to Viet Nam from April 16-18 at the invitation of PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc, held discussions with the Vietnamese State and National Assembly leaders in Hanoi.

At a reception held by the State President Tran Dai Quang for the visiting Premier on April 17 in Hanoi, President Quang hailed the bilateral ties between the two nations since the establishment of their diplomatic relations 47 years ago.

Pointing out that two-way trade has grown steadily, averaging 34 percent for 2010-2016, Mr. Quang underlined the need to strengthen the exchange of delegations and meetings at all levels and effectively implement existing cooperation mechanisms towards reaching a two-way trade of US$1 billion, particularly in the fields of apparel, rubber, farm produce, jewelry, footwear and machinery, fisheries.

He said both sides need to actively implement their Agreement on Investment Promotion and Protection signed in October 2009 and a portfolio of fields prioritized for investment under a cooperation agreement between the two foreign investment agencies signed in October 2011.

The Vietnamese State leader asked businesses to actively join in trade promotion activities, technological transfer in fisheries exploitation, processing and export, as well as promote connectivity via an agreement on air transport between the two governments that took effect in December 2012.

Discussing regional and global issues Wickremesinghe said Sri Lanka supports a maritime environment of peace, strongly commits to complying with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and stands ready to contribute to initiatives to ensure maritime freedom in the region.

President Quang suggested continuing to strengthen cooperation and mutual support at multilateral forums, especially within the framework of the United Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement.

He said Viet Nam welcomes and encourages Sri Lanka to enhance specific and practical collaboration with ASEAN to boost ties between the bloc and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

On the occasion, he asked Sri Lanka to support Vietnam's bid to run for non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the 2020-2021 tenure and UNESCO Director General for 2017-2021.

Prime Minister Wickresinghe thanked President Quang for his sympathy with huge losses suffered by Sri Lankan people in a recent garbage dump collapse in the capital city of Colombo.

National Assembly (NA) Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan also hosted a reception for the visiting Premier on Monday during which she affirmed the Vietnam National Assembly's readiness to support and work closely with the Sri Lankan Parliament to develop the two countries' relationship in an extensive and effective manner.

The top legislator suggested the two sides continue to increase cooperation and mutual support at international and regional forums, including the United Nations and the Non-aligned Movement, and international parliamentary forums, especially in the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).

An agreement between the National Assembly Chairperson and the Sri Lankan delegation was reached, which will launch a program to strengthen ties amongst the National Council of Vietnam and the Parliament of Sri Lanka.

Regarding the East Sea, Ngan thanked Sri Lanka for its clear stance, saying Vietnam has always called on concerned parties to respect international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and advocate the rule of law in the waters and oceans.

The Sri Lankan Prime Minister also met with the leader of the Communist Party of Viet Nam (CPV) Nguyen Phu Trong at a reception held on Monday in Hanoi.

During the reception, the Party General Secretary hailing the outcomes of the earlier talks and meetings between PM Wickremesinghe and Vietnamese leaders, said the CPV welcomes strengthened ties with political parties and is ready to share national development experience with Sri Lanka.

He added that the CPV and Vietnamese people always attach importance to the long-standing friendship and multifaceted cooperation with Sri Lanka.

Mr. Trong suggested the two sides take specific measures to effectively deploy already-signed agreements and wished that the bilateral relationship would continue growing practically and effectively for the benefits of their people.

He also conveyed his profound condolences to families of victims in a recent garbage mountain collapse that left at least 26 dead and dozens missing in the suburb of Colombo capital city.

In turn, PM Wickremesinghe noted that Sri Lanka always sticks importance to strengthening the time-honored friendship, people-to-people exchange and comprehensive cooperation with Viet Nam.

He said hopes that the both sides will continue promoting bilateral ties and mutual support at multilateral forums, making practical contributions to maintaining peace, stability and development in the region and the world.


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