SL and Vietnam mark golden jubilee of formal ties

Sri Lanka and Vietnam commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of formal diplomatic relations on July 21. Although only officially founded in 1970, Sri Lanka and Vietnam’s deep-rooted relationship spans for several centuries, a media release issued by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Ha Noi said.

The founder of modern Vietnam; the late President Ho Chi Minh paid numerous visits to Sri Lanka in 1911, 1928 and 1946 on his way to Europe. President Ho Chi Minh was welcomed by a nation that became one of the first to support Vietnam in its struggle against French and US occupation, acting as a staunch ally.

Together, Sri Lanka and Vietnam equally enjoy amiable ties in bilateral, regional and multilateral diplomacy. The cooperation between the two countries extends to wider areas of politics, trade, investment and economics, defense, culture, education, tourism, agriculture etc. In addition, the Sri Lanka – Vietnam Parliamentary Friendship Group maintains tight-knit cordial relations between the Parliament of Sri Lanka and the National Assembly of Vietnam. This robust relationship is also marked by high level visits undertaken by leaders of both countries.

Sri Lanka and Vietnam share close trade relations. The total trade volume of 2019 was USD 381 million where Sri Lanka imported goods/services worth USD 302 million in 2019 from Vietnam and exported goods/services worth USD 79 million to Vietnam.

With regard to investment, leading Sri Lankan apparel industry companies, such as Hidramani Group and MAS Holdings, have established factories in Ha Noi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang etc. These factories have employed over 10,000 Vietnam nationals. Sri Lankan cosmetics and perfumes producer Nature’s Secret also has its footprint in Vietnam.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, while conveying his warmest greetings and felicitations on this important milestone to his Vietnam counterpart, Nguyen PhuTrong Party General Secretary and President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, recalled the rich history of relations between the two countries, rooted in mutual trust, friendship and respect. President Rajapaksa also congratulated Vietnam on its leadership of ASEAN as the Chair for 2020, non-permanent membership at the UN Security Council for the term 2020-21 and effective control of the nation’s COVID-19 condition.

Extending his compliments to Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa recognized the shared values, deep sincerity and continuous reciprocity that have existed between the two countries through generations of leaders and peoples. Prime Minister Rajapaksa further congratulated Vietnam on its tremendous achievements under the guidance of the Communist Party and its leadership during the last 90 years.

Minister of Foreign Relations Dinesh Gunawardena also commended his Vietnam counterpart, Pham Binh Minh, Deputy Prime Minister on this important milestone. Minister Gunawardena recalled the remarkable achievements of both countries during the last 50 years, giving prominence to Vietnam’s productive contributions in regional and multilateral fora. He further stated that although the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented the two countries from celebrating this momentous landmark, he is confident that plans will be made to hold appropriate celebratory events in the year ahead.

Sri Lankan leaders also extended invitations to their Vietnam counterparts to visit Sri Lanka.

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