08:09 | 27/08/2014 Cooperation
(VEN) - “Establishing a joint trade sub-committee under the Vietnam-Sri Lanka Joint Committee on Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation could provide an important basis for seeking specific solutions to promote bilateral trade cooperation,” Vietnam’s Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang said at a meeting with Sri Lanka’s Minister of Industry and Trade Rishad Badiutheen on his visit to Vietnam from August 20-22.
Vietnam’s Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang (left) receives Sri Lanka’s Minister of Industry and Trade Rishad Badiutheen
Vu Huy Hoang said that by establishing a joint trade sub-committee under the Vietnam-Sri Lanka Joint Committee on Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation the governments of the two countries wanted to improve the legal framework and create a favorable environment for Vietnamese and Sri Lanka businesses to partner with each other. Trade and investment cooperation between the two countries are developing and potential for both sides to enhance cooperation is great.
Statistics showed that trade between Vietnam and Sri Lanka reached US$166.6 million in 2013, an increase of 27 percent from 2012 and an increase of more than three fold from 2008. Vietnamese exports to Sri Lanka amounted to US$66 million in the first half of this year, an increase of 11.8 percent against the same months last year. Imports came to US$43 million, a sharp increase of 139 percent.
By July 20, Sri Lanka had registered total investment capital of US$14.2 million via 10 projects taking 65th place among the 101 countries and territories investing in Vietnam.
Vu Huy Hoang said that the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade was willing to work with the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Sri Lanka on practical measures to raise bilateral economic ties to a new height. He also said that the two parties needed to continue implementing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Oil and Gas and Mechanics Cooperation to facilitate partnerships between the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group, the Vietnam National Petroleum Group and Sri Lanka’s partners.
Rishad Badiutheen said that Sri Lanka underlined booting economic and investment cooperation with Vietnam, particularly in high technology, information technology, rubber, textiles and garments, and leather and footwear. The government of Sri Lanka encourages and helps foreign investors including Vietnamese businesses to learn and do business in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka is focusing on developing infrastructure, airways, ocean shipping and overland transport. It has reduced 48 import tariff lines (even to zero percent) and has loosened its foreign exchange management measures.
Sri Lanka’s Minister of Industry and Trade Rishad Badiutheen:
Sri Lanka advocates establishing a joint trade sub-committee to raise bilateral economic cooperation. Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Industry and Trade will closely follow the establishment of the sub-committee and considers it as a specific mechanism to create an engine for businesses of the two countries to cooperate with each other.
“Sri Lanka could become a gateway for Vietnamese goods to South Asia and Africa and connect with Europe due to its strategic geographic position in South Asia. Vietnam could also be a bridge for Sri Lank’s goods to enter the market in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). For this reason, opportunities for trade development cooperation between the two countries are tremendous,” said Rishad Badiutheen.
At the meeting, the two ministers agreed to enhance mutual visits by ministerial delegations, launch business trips to both countries, build a mechanism to increase information about business and investment opportunities, lists of major international fairs and exhibitions and reputable export and import companies. Sri Lanka currently needs to import 15,000 tonnes of rice and has asked Vietnamese business partners to sell their rice.
Vu Huy Hoang affirmed that Vietnam could provide a larger amount of rice and meet Sri Lanka’s needs in the long term. He asked the two parties to look to conclude a memorandum of understanding on trade in rice thus opening new business opportunities for businesses of both countries./.