Sri Lanka’s Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Badiutheen suggested Vietnamese exporters take part in supplying rice for his country as it is in need of buying about 15,000 tonnes.

The visiting minister made the suggestion to Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang during their talks in Hanoi on August 21.

He also suggested Vietnam share more experience to boost exports.

Both sides agreed to soon establish an inter-subcommittee on trade and speed up the realisation of a memorandum of understanding on oil and gas and mechanics cooperation.

These activities will make it easier for the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group and the Vietnam National Petroleum Group to work closely with their Sri Lankan partners, they said.

They also pledged to facilitate visits and update each other on business and investment opportunities.

As a key gateway in South Asia, Sri Lanka is now the 65 th biggest investor in Vietnam with 10 projects worth over 14 million USD. Vietnam has, however, yet set up any projects there.

Two-way trade records an annual growth of 22 percent, with Vietnam shipping clinker, fibres, apparel, rubber, mobile phones and accessories to Sri Lanka while importing animal feed, garment materials, leather and footwear, gemstones and precious metals.

In the first half of this year, Vietnam brought home 66 million USD from exports to Sri Lanka, up 11.8 percent and spent 43 million USD on imports, marking a year-on-year rise of 139 percent.-VNA