At the meeting, which took place on the sidelines of the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF), the Vietnamese leader expressed his belief that under the leadership of President Wickremesinghe, Sri Lanka will soon overcome difficulties to achieve more socio-economic achievements.

President Vo Van Thuong (right) and his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe

The two leaders acknowledged positive development steps in the bilateral relationship, especially in education-training, religion, and people-to-people exchanges, saying financial cooperation has also made new progress as they have completed legal procedures for the signing of an agreement on cooperation and mutual support in customs.

President Vo Van Thuong suggested the two countries expand collaboration across spheres, effectively implement existing bilateral cooperation mechanisms, and facilitate the operations of their businesses, thereby enhancing bilateral trade and investment ties.

The leaders agreed to ask the foreign ministers of the two countries, who are also co-chairs of the Vietnam - Sri Lanka Joint Committee, to soon organize annual meetings of the committee in order to foster cooperation in all realms, including economy - trade - investment.

President Vo Van Thuong also suggested deepening cooperation in other potential fields such as tourism, education - training, culture, religion, and people-to-people exchanges.

For his part, President Wickremesinghe congratulated Vietnam on its important socio-economic achievements and stated that Sri Lanka always wishes to strengthen its relations with Vietnam.

Sri Lanka hopes to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), he said.

He agreed with President Vo Van Thuong’s suggestions to forge the bilateral cooperation, particularly in economy, trade, cultural exchanges, religion, and tourism.         

Both leaders emphasised that Vietnam and Sri Lanka will strengthen cooperation and mutual support at multilateral forums, including the United Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement.

On this occasion, President  Vo Van Thuong invited President Wickremesinghe to visit Vietnam again soon. The President of Sri Lanka accepted the invitation with pleasure.

Source: VNA