The two sides reached the consensus during talks between Vietnamese State President Truong Tan Sang and his Sri Lankan counterpart, Mahinda Rajapaksa in Colombo on October 14 during a three-day State-level visit to Sri Lanka.
President Sang said that Vietnam and Sri Lanka have always supported each other in the struggles for national independence in the past as well as in the current national development. He expressed his belief that his visit will help further strengthen the friendship and co-operation between the two nations.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa informed his guest of the country’s situation, saying that after a 30-year civil war, Sri Lanka has attained peace and political stability as well as completed its national reconciliation process.
Sri Lanka has set a target of becoming a middle-income country and a maritime and aviation centre linking the Middle East and Asia, he said.
The two leaders expressed their joy at rapid developments of bilateral relations since the two countries set up diplomatic ties in 1970.
They agreed that the reopening of the Vietnamese Embassy in Sri Lanka in April 2011 and the signing of eight co-operative agreements between the two sides’ ministries and agencies during this visit are vivid manifestations of an aspiration to further strengthen bilateral ties.
The two sides expressed determination to promote existing potential for co-operation in all fields towards the building of a comprehensive partnership between Vietnam and Sri Lanka.
The leaders also spoke highly of the two countries’ close co-ordination at regional and international forums, especially the UN, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the South-South Co-operation, the Colombo Plan, and the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
On the occasion, the Sri Lankan President recognised Vietnam as a market economy and affirmed support for the country’s bid to become a member of the UN Human Rights Council for the 2013-2016 term.
The two sides affirmed a wish and determination to boost co-operation for the interests of the two countries’ people as well as for peace and stability in the region and the world at large.
After the talks, the Vietnamese and Sri Lanka Presidents witnessed the signing of co-operative documents between their relevant ministries and agencies, including memoranda of understanding on machinery manufacturing, defence co-operation, bilateral political consultations, financial co-operation and investment encouragement co-operation.
An agreement on educational co-operation, a MoU on oil and gas co-operation and a Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) oil sale contract were also signed.
In the evening, President Mahinda Rajapaksa hosted a banquet in honour of the Vietnamese State leader and his entourage.
On the same day, President Sang attended and delivered the opening speech at a Vietnam-Sri Lanka business forum in Colombo which aimed to create conditions for Vietnamese and Sri Lankan businesses to study the respective countries’ investment and business environments, policies and future strategic orientations.
Participants at the forum said that two-way trade between Vietnam and Sri Lanka has seen drastic changes in recent time and is expected to reach US$100 million this year.
The two countries still see great potential for co-operation in oil and gas, telecommunications, agriculture, seafood processing, construction and tourism, they said.
President Sang told the forum that in the coming years, Vietnam will focus on stabilising the macroeconomy, restructuring and renovating the economic growth model in the direction of improving the quality, efficiency and competitiveness of the economy.
In its foreign policy, Vietnam always attaches importance to strengthening and expanding international co-operative relations, especially with regional countries, he said.
The President affirmed that the visit, with the signing of agreements on increasing two-way trade and investment, will mark a new development in the Vietnam-Sri Lanka relations as well as open up new opportunities and create more favourable conditions for the two countries’ business communities.