Sri Lanka and Vietnam expect to increase the bilateral trade between the two countries up to the threshold of one billion US dollars within the next three years.
The recent third Joint Commission Meeting of Sri Lanka and Vietnam held in Hanoi and chaired by the foreign ministers of the two countries, the focus was on the expansion of trade and investment.
During the meeting Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris and Vietnam Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh have identified the practical modalities to achieve the objective of reaching US$ 1 billion in trade set during the visit of Vietnam's President Troung Tan Sang to Sri Lanka in October last year.
Increased connectivity, removal of non-tariff barriers, and movement towards a Preferential Trade Agreement have been identified as necessary measures to expand the trade between the two countries.
At the Joint Commission the two countries have entered into a new bilateral Air Services Agreement that is expected to promote tourism and people to people interaction.
The two sides agreed on steps for rapid implementation of the memorandum signed last year between the Presidential Secretariat of Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam on cooperation in the petroleum sector.
The Foreign Minister of Vietnam has agreed to provide substantial support to Sri Lanka in the agriculture and fisheries sector. Priority will be given to technology transfer in inland fisheries, aquaculture, ornamental fish breeding and production of high yielding plant material.
The two countries agreed to collaborate on military training for officer cadets and training courses for officers for mid-career development.
Sri Lanka welcomed the participation by Vietnam defence authorities in high level conferences organized by Sri Lanka's defence establishment, including the Defence Seminar which will be held in Colombo next month.
The two Ministers have agreed to intensify their engagement in the Bali Process and similar fora, especially on issues connected with counter terrorism, transnational crime, maritime security and environmental issues.
Recalling that Sri Lanka was one of the first countries to establish relations with the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh has assured to work closely with Sri Lanka in the future.
Prof. has also called on the Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, and had discussions with Justice Minister Ha Hung Cuong of Vietnam in strengthening the bilateral relationship.
Concluding his official visit, Prof Peiris has also delivered a speech on Maritime Security at the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam.