Vietnam’s consistent policy is to attach importance to and enhance the traditional friendship with Sri Lanka both in depth and on a wide scale.

President Truong Tan Sang made this statement in an interview granted to the Daily Financial Times on Oct. 13 on the occasion of his State-level visit to Sri Lanka.

President Sang said the traditional relations, friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and Sri Lanka have seen fine developments. The two countries have promoted meetings at all levels, closely coordinated with each other and provided mutual support at international forums, including the United Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement.

Sang went on to say that the two countries’ economic relations have also seen fine developments, with two-way trade rising from 30.1 million USD in 2000 to more than 93 million USD in 2010. Sri Lanka now has seven investment projects in Vietnam, with a combined registered capital of 13.5 million USD.

However, the President noted, the results failed to match the two countries’ potential and diplomatic relations.

President Sang expressed his belief that the two countries will put forward orientations for specific cooperation at the upcoming third session of the Vietnam-Sri Lanka Joint Commission to implement agreements reached during this visit, contributing to bringing the Vietnam-Sri Lanka relations to a new height.

There remained a huge potential for bilateral economic, trade and investment cooperation, affirmed the Vietnamese President, emphasising the need to focus on fields with strengths such as oil and gas, agriculture, seafood, breeding, education, culture, tourism and construction.

Sang said both sides have targeted a two-way trade value of 500 million USD by 2015 under which Vietnam will increase exports of farm, consumer and electronic products, farm machinery, rubber, seafood electromic goods and construction materials to Sri Lanka and import products that are strengths of Sri Lanka.

President Sang said that through his first visit to South Asia, Vietnam wants to further promote friendly cooperation with countries in the region, including Sri Lanka.

He expressed his optimism about prospects for developing the relationship, saying he believed that the visit will help boost the two countries’ close and trustful political relations and economic, investment and trade cooperation and open opportunities for cooperation in various fields.

The visit is also an opportunity to increase the in-depth discussion of issues of peace and development cooperation in the region and the world, Sang said./.