A Sri Lanka - Vietnam trade centre was officially opened in Colombo capital, Sri Lanka, on August 6 to serve as a platform to intensify investment, trade and tourism cooperation between the two countries.

Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Governor of the Centre Bank of Sri Lanka, said the establishment of the centre meets the demand of the two countries’ business circles.

He expressed his hope that it will strongly contribute to bilateral partnership in trade, investment and tourism.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Ton Sinh Thanh emphasised that the opening of the centre took place amid the rapid growth in bilateral relations.

Over the past three years, two-way trade turnover has surged by 30% - the fastest pace Vietnam has recorded with a South Asian country.

The figure hit 109 million USD in the first half of 2014, equivalent to the whole 2011 number. In particular, Sri Lanka’s exports to Vietnam reached 43 million USD, higher than the value made in 2013, he noted.

Thanh stressed that there is much room for trading activities between both countries once barriers like high taxes, fees and cumbersome procedures are cleared.

The diplomat suggested both Governments soon mull over a bilateral preferential trade agreement and head towards the signing of a free trade agreement.-VNA