Vietnam wishes to step up its practical and effective cooperation with Sri Lanka , Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has said.

At a reception for the visiting Sri Lankan Foreign Minister, Gamini Lakshman Peiris, in Hanoi on July 18, Dung suggested that both Governments make more effort to realise agreements reached by the leaders of both countries.

In addition to cooperating in politics, security and defence, both countries should expand their relationship into other fields, especially economics, trade and investment, to raise bilateral trade to 1 billion USD by 2015, he said.

The PM stated that Vietnam is also ready to help Sri Lanka forge ties with other ASEAN member nations.

For his part, Minister Peiris said that Sri Lanka wants to further ties with Vietnam in every aspect, especially in oil and gas exploration and exploitation, agriculture and tourism.

He said he hoped that the Vietnamese Government will create the best possible conditions for Sri Lankan businesses operating in Vietnam as well as speed up joint business and investment projects between both countries.

The FM stated that Sri Lanka , as one of the co-founders of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), supports the principles of ensuring maritime security and the peaceful settlement of disputes in the East Sea on the basis of international law, especially the 1982 UNCLOS.

Sri Lanka is also in favour of regional countries enforcing the Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and pushing for a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), he added.-VNA