Chairwoman of the National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (L) and Speaker of the Sri Lankan Parliament Karu Jayasuriya (Source: VNA)
Geneva (VNA) – Chairwoman of the National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan had a meeting with Speaker of the Sri Lankan Parliament Karu Jayasuriya on the fringes of the 138th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly (IPU-138) in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 25 morning (local time).

She told her Ski Lankan counterpart that Vietnam always attaches importance to the time-honoured friendship with Sri Lanka and wishes to advance the relationship on the basis of potential and advantages of each side.

NA Chairwoman Ngan suggested the two sides increase the exchange of all-level delegations, soon organise the fourth meeting of the Joint Committee at the foreign ministerial level in Sri Lanka in 2018, and implement the security dialogue mechanism at the public security ministerial level at an early date.

It is necessary for both sides to effectively materialise outcomes of the visit to Vietnam by the Sri Lankan Prime Minister as well as signed cooperation documents, and consider adjusting and signing other documents suitable to the new situation, she said.

Noting trade revenue between Vietnam and Sri Lanka, which exceeded 200 million USD in 2017, the NA Chairwoman said the two countries have substantial potential for cooperation, urging them to utilise such potential, especially in key areas like oil and gas, infrastructure, information and communication technology, garment-textile, rubber, leather and footwear, agricultural product processing and distribution, dairy production and consumption, renewable energy, and air and maritime transport.

She also proposed the early organisation of the second meeting of the Joint Trade Sub-committee to discuss measures to raise the bilateral trade to 1 billion USD, and intensify trade promotion and connection, especially in the aviation sector.

Ngan affirmed that Vietnam is willing to share experience and technologies in agro-fisheries development with Sri Lanka, while hoping that the two sides will continue supporting each other and avoid competition in several products that both have strength such as tea, coffee and aquatic products.

The two sides should pay attention to potential fields like education and training, human resources training, telecommunications, information and digital technology infrastructure, tourism and culture, she added.

She also took this occasion to thank Sri Lanka for backing the Vietnamese Ambassador to Sri Lanka’s run for the post of Secretary General of the Colombo Plan for 2018-2022, and wished that the host’s offices will help her fulfill her tasks.

Vietnam supports Sri Lanka’s efforts to intensify its cooperation with ASEAN, and is willing to be a bridge boosting collaboration between ASEAN and SAARC, Ngan confirmed.

She asked the Sri Lankan Parliament to step up delegation exchanges to further promote the two countries’ relations comprehensively and intensively.

The two legislative bodies should coordinate in reviewing and supervising the implementation of signed agreements to help them bring about practical benefits to both sides, she suggested.

The top Vietnamese legislator also requested both sides to continue strengthening cooperation and backing each other at multilateral forums, especially within the framework of the United Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement.

She expressed her hope that Sri Lanka will support the stance of Vietnam and ASEAN in principled issues such as maritime and aviation freedom, compliance with international law and peaceful resolution of disputes.

For his part, Karu Jayasuriya said both the President and Prime Minister of Sri Lanka are interested in Vietnam’s development, and wish to enhance cooperation with the country.

He described Vietnam as a model of socio-economic development that Sri Lanka wants to learn from.

Agreeing with Ngan’s ideas on trade, investment, culture and tourism cooperation, the Sri Lankan top legislator said that his country always wish to cooperate with Vietnam in the fields that it has strength, including maritime potential exploitation.

He said he hopes that the two countries will launch a direct air route to facilitate bilateral investment and tourism ties.-VNA