HA NOI — "Viet Nam wishes to increase the level and effectiveness of its co-operation with Sri Lanka," said Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung at a reception in Ha Noi yesterday for visiting Sri Lankan foreign minister Gamini Lakshman Peiris.
In addition to increased ties in politics, security and defence, Viet Nam and Sri Lanka also needed to expand their relationship into other fields, especially trade and investment, with the goal of lifting annual bilateral trade to US$1 billion by 2015, Dung said.
He urged the governments of the two countries to make greater efforts to realise agreements already reached by their leaders and said that Viet Nam was also ready to help Sri Lanka forge greater ties with other ASEAN member states.
Peiris responded that Sri Lanka wanted increased ties with Viet Nam in every respect, but especially in oil and gas exploration and exploitation, agriculture development, and tourism.
He said he hoped that the Vietnamese Government would create the best possible conditions for Sri Lankan businesses operating in Viet Nam and would hasten joint ventures and investment projects involving the two countries.
As one of the co-founders of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Sri Lanka also supported the principles of maritime security and peaceful settlement of disputes in the East Sea on the basis of UNCLOS and other international laws, Peiris said, adding that Sri Lanka supported regional countries in enforcing the Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the East Sea.
Sri Lanka joined them, he said, in calling for a Code of Conduct in the East Sea.
On the same day, Prime Minister Dung received French Ambassador Francois Girault, who has completed his term in Viet Nam.
The PM spoke highly of the ambassador's contributions to bilateral co-operation, especially in the fields of economy, trade, investment – and education and training.
Dung said there was large potential for co-operation between the two countries, saying that Viet Nam always promoted relations with France to aid international and regional peace, stability and development.
Ambassador Girault said France's trust was proved by projects it funded in education, traffic and energy. He said he wished to further enhance relations to mark the 40th year of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Referring to the East Sea issue, the Ambassador said France supported the solution of the dispute in a peaceful manner on the basis of the 1982 United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea. Girault was also received by National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung — VNS