Vietnam and Sri Lanka need to promote bilateral economic cooperation in the future by taking full advantage of similarities between the two countries, said a senior Sri Lankan official.

The Sri Lankan Minister for International Monetary Cooperation, Sarath Amunugama stated this during a workshop held in the capital city of Colombo on March 30, to explore the potential for increased economic cooperation between Vietnam and Sri Lanka .

Minister Amunugama expressed his admiration for what Vietnam has achieved during its development and said that his country can learn a lot from Vietnam ’s experiences.

When addressing the workshop, Vietnam’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Ton Sinh Thanh, highlighted the benefits since the Vietnamese embassy opened in Colombo one year ago, saying it has helped bilateral economic cooperation greatly, especially after the state-level visit to Sri Lanka by President Truong Tan Sang in October last year.

Thanh also pointed out the difficulties and challenges that officials, economists and businesses will need to face together to seek solutions.

He proposed that the delegates discuss ways of implementing previously signed agreements between the two governments as soon as possible, as well as the preparations being made for a joint committee meeting between both countries scheduled to take place in Hanoi later this year.

The delegates heard 10 keynote speeches by economic analysts, especially in trade, investment and tourism.

They raised a number of proposals for holding joint-business forums, organising fact-finding tours and for improving air links, maritime trade and banking, as well as preferential tariffs, to raise two way trade to 1 billion USD in the near future.

The workshop attracted numerous economists from various ministries and sectors, both chambers’ of commerce, businesses and investors from both Sri Lanka and Vietnam. /.