Vietnam attaches importance to fostering traditional relations with Sri Lanka
Vietnam attaches importance to strengthening traditional friendship and multifaceted cooperation with Sri Lanka, in order to take bilateral relations to new heights, President Vo Van Thuong told his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe on 18 October 2023.
Meeting on the sidelines of the ongoing third Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, Thuong expressed his belief that under the leadership of President Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sri Lanka would make more socio-economic development achievements.
The two presidents acknowledged the positive developments in the cooperative relations between Vietnam and Sri Lanka in recent times, especially in the fields of education-training, religion, and people-to-people exchanges, saying the two sides are now completing legal procedures towards signing an agreement on cooperation and mutual support in customs.
To rev up bilateral cooperation, Thuong proposed that the two sides increase cooperation in all fields, effectively deploy existing cooperation mechanisms, and create conditions for their businesses to promote trade and investment cooperation.
He also proposed that the two sides foster cooperation in potential fields such as education-training, tourism, culture, religion and people-to-people exchanges, while considering opening direct flights and connecting Buddhist destinations between the two countries to develop spiritual tourism.
The two leaders agreed to assign the Foreign Ministers of the two countries to soon convene a meeting of the Vietnam – Sri Lanka Joint Committee to enhance cooperation in all fields, including economy, trade and investment.
Wickremesinghe for his part affirmed that Sri Lanka always wants to strengthen relations with Vietnam, a very dynamic developing country that shares many similarities with Sri Lanka.
He welcomed Thuong’s proposals and said Sri Lanka expects to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement.
The two sides vowed to further strengthen cooperation and mutual support at multilateral forums, including the United Nations, ASEAN and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).
On this occasion, Thuong respectfully invited Wickremesinghe to visit Vietnam again soon, and the invitation was accepted with pleasure.
Vietnamese State President Vo Van Thuong and Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe are in Beijing for the third Belt and Road Forum.