Sri Lanka and Vietnam yesterday agreed to further strengthen long-standing bilateral relations across multiple domains. This agreement was reached during talks between Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Vietnamese Foreign Affairs Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Pham Bình Minh, at the latter’s office in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The Vietnamese political leader met Prime Minister Wickremesinghe on the sidelines of the Indian Ocean Conference in Hanoi.The two leaders also discussed ways and means of increasing bilateral trade to over US$ 1 billion by 2020, a press statement issued by the Prime Ministers Media Unit said.
The Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister recalled the visit by Premier Wickremesinghe to his country last year and added that the current visit and Premier Wickremesinghe’s next visit to Vietnam to attend the World Economic Summit next month, will further help strengthen ties between the two countries.The Prime Minister thanked Vietnam for agreeing to host the Indian Ocean Conference in Hanoi.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and Deputy Prime Minister Pham Bình Minh also agreed that the conference should be used as a platform to bring all stakeholders together to propagate regional, development, peace and prosperity.
Minister Sagala Ratnayake, Secretary to the Prime Minister, Saman Ekanayake, Sri Lankan envoy in Hanoi, Hasanthi Dissanayake, and the Additional Secretary to the Prime Minister, Saman Athaudahetti were among those who accompanied Premier Wickremesinghe.
The Indian Ocean Conference themed ‘Building Regional Architectures’, is expected to promote strategic cooperation and trade ties between countries, consolidate security frameworks and administrative processes, and contribute to maintaining regional peace, stability, development, and connectivity.
Topics cover security, economy, and trade across the Indian Ocean and neighboring areas in the Indo-Pacific region, evolving regional architectures, cooperation between concerned countries in trust building, respect for international standards and laws, peaceful settlement of disputes, oceanic administration, and the settlement of non-traditional security challenges at sea.
The Indian Ocean Conference initiated by the India Foundation along with its partners from Singapore, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, is an annual effort to bring together heads of states and governments, ministers, thought leaders, scholars, diplomats, bureaucrats and practitioners from across the region.