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Vietnam – Sri Lanka Relations

December 2009


          Viet  Nam and Sri Lanka established diplomatic relations on July 21, 1970. Viet Nam opened its Embassy in Colombo in 1971 but withdrew in 1982 due to economic difficulties. Sri Lanka opened its embassy in Hanoi in January 2003.

In the political field:  Viet Nam and Sri Lanka have developed good relations of tradition and friendship. Sri Lanka strongly supported Viet Nam in the struggle for independence. High-level visits from Vietnam to Sri Lanka include the one paid by Prime Minister Pham Van Dong (1978) and  high-level visits to Vietnam are those paid by Sri Lanka Parliament Chairman W.J.M. Lokubandra (February 2006); Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayka (26-29 November 2006) and Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse (22-24 October 2009). Those visits bring the two nations' relationship to a new height. Both sides have enjoyed good combination in international forums including Non-aligned Movement, South-South Cooperation and in the United Nation.


The bilateral economic relations have grown steadily in recent years:

- In the trade field: The total trade value between the two countries of  30,1 million USD (Viet Nam exported 14,5 million USD and imported 15,6 million USD) (200) to increase to  61,6 million USD (2008) (Viet Nam exported 40 million USD and imported 21,6 million USD) and in the first half of 2009 reached 21,7 million USD.

            - The main exported items Viet Nam  to Sri Lanka chiefly consists of precious stones, precious metals, cloth of all kinds, agricultural machines, rubber, seafood, handicraft and furniture… Viet Nam's items importation from Sri Lanka includes food for animal, raw diamond, cloth of all kinds, textile and garments raw materials , footwear, chemical substances.

- In the investment field: until September 2009, Sri Lanka has 5 valid investment projects in Viet Nam with the total registered capital of 13,2 million USD, ranked at 59/88 countries and territories investing in Viet Nam..

- Bilateral cooperation in the agriculture field is also developing in recent years. In 2007, the two countries has approved The Work Plan for the year 2010 - 2013 in implement of MOU on cooperation on agriculture and fisheries.

- The Join Commission between Viet Nam and Sri Lanka was established in 2003. The two sides have held 2 meeting sections, the first in October 2003 (in Hanoi) and the second in August 2009 (in Colombo, Sri Lanka).

- Until 2009, Viet Nam and Sri Lanka have sign 9 Agreements on: cultural cooperation; trade; post; aviation transportation; cooperation in the field of economy, science and technology; visa exemption for holders of diplomatic and official passport; tourism; avoidance of double taxation; protection and promotion of investment.     

Exchanges of visits between the two countries in current time include:

+ Visits to Vietnam are those paid by  Sri Lanka Foreign Minister Laksham Kadirgarmar (May 1999); Sri Lanka Defence Secretary A. Chandrananda (June 2000); Sri Lanka Trade Minister (June 2002);  Sri Lanka Foreign Minister Tyronne Fernando (October 2003); Sri Lanka Agriculture Minister (December 2004); Sri Lanka Parliament Chairman W.J.M. Lokubandra (Februrry 2006); Sri Lanka Prime Minister Wickramanayka (26-29 November 2006); Sri Lanka Miniter of Agricultural Development (28 March - 5 April 2007), Secretary of Ministry of Defence, Public Security, Law and Order Gotabaya Rajapaksa (April 2008); Minister of Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion visit Hochiminh City (September 2008); Sri Lanka Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama (5-6 March 2009); Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa (22-24 October 2009).

+ Visits to Sri Lanka are those paid by: Prime Minister Pham Van Dong (1978); Deputy Foreign Minister Le Cong Phung (21- 24 March 2002); Foreign Minister Nguyen Dy Nien (19-22 July 2003); Deputy Trade Minister Do Nhu Dinh (23 October to 1 November 2003); Fishery Minister Ta Quang Ngoc (17-20 March 2005); Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Diep Kinh Tan (June 2006);Prime Minster Nguyen Tan Dung had telephone conversation with Sri Lanka President (May 2009); Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Gia Khiem met Sri Lanka Foreign Minister on the sidelines of the 15th NAM Summit in Egypt (14 July 2009); Defence Minister Phung Quang Thanh met Sri Lanka Foreign Minister on the sidelines of the 8th Asian Security Conference in Singapore (May 2009); Deputy Foreign Minister Dao Viet Trung attended the 2nd Join Commission between Viet Nam and Sri Lanka held in Colombo (10-11 August 2009); Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Do Huu Hao (4-8 October 2009); Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung met Sri Lanka Prime Minister Wickramanayka on the sidelines of the 10th International Exhibition of Economics and Trade held in Chengdu- Si Chuan, China (14-16 October 2009); Deputy Foreign Minister Doan Xuan Hung attended the 8th Asia Dialogue Ministerial Meeting held in Colombo (14-15 October 2009)./.

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