Created: Wednesday, 21 August 2013
JOINT COMMUNIQUE BETWEEN THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA AND THE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM1. At the invitation of His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, His Excellency Truong Tan Sang, President of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and his spouse paid a State Visit to Sri Lanka from 13th to 15th October 2011.
2. President Truong Tan Sang was accorded a ceremonial welcome on arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport on 13th October 2011. During the visit, President Truong Tan Sang had official talks with the President of Sri Lanka, who hosted a banquet in his honour; met with Prime Minister Hon D M Jayaratne, Minister of External Affairs Hon. Prof G L Peiris, Senior Minister of Human Resources Hon. D E W Gunasekera in his capacity as the Leader of the Sri Lanka – Viet Nam Solidarity Movement; together with Prime Minister Hon. D M Jayaratne, declared open the Embassy of Viet Nam in Colombo, and offered a floral tribute to the Ranaviru (war heroes) monument at the Parliament grounds. President Truong Tan Sang also inaugurated the Sri Lanka – Viet Nam Business Forum, which was attended by the representatives of the business circle of the two countries together with high-ranking officials of the two governments.
3. The official discussions between the two sides were marked by friendship, mutual respect and understanding. Both sides briefed each other on the political and economic development of the countries respectively and exchanged views on the cooperation between the two countries. President Rajapaksa expressed his admiration of the courage of the people of Viet Nam in their efforts in defending national independence and achieving national re-unification and congratulated Viet Nam on the success of the 11th Congress of the Communist Party of Viet Nam and elections to the 13th National Assembly. He also congratulated the President of Viet Nam on his recent appointment to the highest office.
4. President Truong Tan Sang felicitated President Rajapaksa on the decisive defeat of terrorism in Sri Lanka, after many years of conflict, and reaffirmed his support for preserving the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Sri Lanka. He extended his country’s assistance in the efforts taken by President of Sri Lanka to build a peaceful and prosperous nation unifying all ethnic communities including in the reconstruction efforts. The President of Viet Nam also congratulated President Rajapaksa on the decisive victories in the Presidential and Parliamentary elections in 2010 and the local government elections in 2011 and recognized the policy proposals enshrined in the “Mahinda Chinthana” for the development of Sri Lanka.
5. The two leaders noted with satisfaction that bilateral relations have matured and diversified with the passage of time for over 40 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1970, encompassing key areas of contemporary relevance. They also welcomed the mechanism established for inter-parliamentary cooperation and encouraged further interactions between Parliamentarians of the two countries and agreed to increase the frequency of high level visits in further consolidating bilateral relations.
6. In consonance with their vision of the future of Sri Lanka – Viet Nam relations, the two leaders agreed that there is much scope to increase cooperation and to further harness the enormous potential available for consolidating and strengthening the bilateral partnership by building on shared values, leveraging common concerns and interests, enhancing connectivity between the two countries, increasing synergies of their economies and, reinforcing the institutional framework for cooperation. To this end, the two leaders agreed that the next meeting of the Joint Commission will be held at an early time in Viet Nam in order to devise a fuller agenda of bilateral cooperation in various fields.
7. Both sides agreed to promote a dialogue on security and defence issues relevant to their bilateral relationship, including through high-level contacts between Defence Forces and the training of defense personnel.
8. The two leaders witnessed the signing of Memorandum of Understanding on the Bilateral Political Consultations between the two Foreign Ministries, Memorandum of Understanding on the Machinery Manufacturing Cooperation, Memorandum of Understanding on Two Way Investment Promotion Cooperation, Agreement on Educational Cooperation for the years 2011-2015, Memorandum of Understanding on Finance Cooperation, Memorandum of Understanding on Defence Cooperation, Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Petroleum sector and the Term Gasoil Sales Agreement. They directed that the provisions of the MoUs should be utilized to build a strong bilateral programme of cooperation including the facilitation of technological know-how in the related fields.
9. The two sides acknowledged that the State Visit by President Rajapaksa to Viet Nam in 2009 has set a conducive platform for expanded economic cooperation and trade that would lead to the common progress and prosperity of the two countries and that bilateral economic cooperation and trade should be further strengthened by fully tapping potential and seeking new ways on the basis of the current cooperation. In this context, the two leaders agreed to strive towards achieving a trade turnover of US$ one billion in the coming years.
10. Both parties agreed that the two countries would undertake measures for trade facilitation including identification and removal of non-tariff barriers and simplification and harmonization of mutually recognized standards. Both sides also agreed to diversify the basket of goods and look for innovative ways to add fresh impetus to trade and commercial relations including through the establishment of joint ventures in enhancing export opportunities for both countries. They agreed to direct the officials of the two countries to explore the possibility of commencing talks on a Preferential Trading Arrangement between Sri Lanka and Viet Nam.
11. The President of Viet Nam was apprised of the Greater Hambantota Development Project and Sri Lanka’s desire to develop as a port and aviation hub in South Asia. President Rajapaksa welcomed investments of Viet Nam in the telecommunication services and equipment, IT and the hospitality sector and invited the business sector of Viet Nam to seek out new investment opportunities available in Sri Lanka following the end of conflict. It was noted that the Agreements signed on Investment Promotion and Protection in 2009 would contribute further in providing for an enhanced investment regime between the two countries. The two sides indicated keen interest in developing comprehensive cooperation in the energy sector including the exploitation and exploration, sharing of technological know-how and experiences.
12. The two leaders agreed that there was great potential for the further and rapid expansion of bilateral agriculture cooperation, fisheries and aquaculture development and collaboration in livestock development. To these ends the two sides agreed to build a strong bilateral programme of partnership in the agriculture and fisheries sectors, including in food processing and post harvest technology and fish processing.
13. Recognizing the immense potential that exists in the two countries to tap human resources as a modality toward economic and social advancement, the two leaders agreed that bilateral links on education cooperation should be enhanced. With a view to further strengthening friendly relations and promoting cultural exchanges between the two countries, the two leaders resolved to encourage visits of artistic delegations, promote works of literature and art in sharing each other’s cultural achievements and experiences and also to promote closer cooperation in youth exchanges.
14. The two leaders agreed to encourage and facilitate individual and group travel for identified places of tourist attractions including Buddhist religious sites in both countries. Exchange of expertise and the grant of technical assistance were other areas that were focused upon. In this context the two leaders requested officials to work together in creating favorable conditions for each other’s travel agents to further develop tourism relations between the two countries and devise an Action Plan for Cooperation based on the Tourism MoU concluded in 1994.
15. Both sides noted with interest the necessity for establishing air connectivity between the two countries to avail of the potential for greater cooperation in the tourism sector and the promotion of people to people interactions. To this end, the two leaders recognized the commencement of talks on Bilateral Air Services Agreement between the two countries and directed their respective civil aviation authorities to conclude negotiations early with a view to signing same.
16. The two leaders also exchanged views on a number of regional and multilateral issues and agreed to continue to work together for mutual benefit of the two countries based on the principle of non- interference. The two sides strongly condemned terrorism in all forms and expressed their determination to intensify cooperation in the common efforts of the international community in preventing this menace comprehensively. President Rajapaksa thanked the President and the Government of Viet Nam for their steadfast support given for Sri Lanka’s fight against terrorism, in the multilateral fora.
17. The two sides agreed to further strengthen cooperation between the two countries in the regional and international for a, particularly in ARF, UN, WTO, the Non-aligned Movement and the South-South Cooperation. President Mahinda Rajapaksa congratulated Viet Nam on the successful conclusion of the Chairmanship in ASEAN in 2010 and valued the role played by Viet Nam as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the period 2008-2009. Sri Lanka recognized Viet Nam as full market economy status and supported Viet Nam’s candidature for the UN Human Rights Council for the year 2013 – 2016.
18. The First Lady of Viet Nam during her stay in Sri Lanka associated herself with the social development programme, particularly in respect of women and children, spearheaded by the First Lady of Sri Lanka.
19. President Truong Tan Sang invited President Mahinda Rajapaksa to pay a State Visit to Viet Nam at a mutually convenient time. The invitation was accepted with appreciation.
20. Both leaders expressed their satisfaction at the outcome of the State visit by the President of Viet Nam to Sri Lanka, which provided further testimony of the continuing excellent relations between the two countries.
21. President Truong Tan Sang and his spouse expressed their gratitude to the President and people of Sri Lanka for the warm reception and hospitality accorded to them and the delegation of Viet Nam during their State Visit to Sri Lanka.
Colombo, 15 October 2011