President Tran Dai Quang (R) and Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe (Source: VNA) 
Hanoi (VNA) – President Tran Dai Quang reiterated Vietnam’s consistent policy of treasuring traditional friendship and all-around cooperation with Sri Lanka during a reception in Hanoi on April 17 for Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

The President expressed his delight at the fruitful outcomes of bilateral wide-ranging ties since the establishment of their diplomatic relations 47 years ago, saying that two-way trade has grown steadily, averaging 34 percent for 2010-2016.

He asked for increasing the exchange of delegations and meetings at all levels and effectively implementing existing cooperation mechanisms towards reaching a two-way trade of 1 billion USD, particularly in the fields of apparel, rubber, farm produce, fisheries, jewelry, footwear and machinery.

Both sides need to actively implement their Agreement on Investment Promotion and Protection signed in October 2009 and a portfolio of fields prioritised for investment under a cooperation agreement between the two foreign investment agencies signed in October 2011, he said, adding that the two countries’ businesses also should 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.

The host requested continuing to strengthen cooperation and mutual support at multilateral forums, especially within the framework of the United Nations and the Non-Align Movement.

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

Vietnam welcomes and encourages Sri Lanka to enhance specific and practical collaboration with ASEAN, contributing to reinforcing ties between the bloc and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

Wickremesinghe, for his part, briefed the host about the outcomes of his talks with Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc, saying that both sides agreed to further boost economic and trade ties on the back of their solid political relationship at present, as well as increase people-to-people exchange.

On regional and global issues, he 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 and stands ready to contribute to initiatives to ensure maritime freedom in the region.

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

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is on an official visit to Vietnam from April 16-18 at the invitation of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. The two sides issued a joint statement on the occasion of the visit, under which, they agreed on major orientations to lifting bilateral ties to a new height.-VNA