Vietnam can access South Asian markets through Sri Lanka: Harsha

Jan 31, 2016 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs said the island intends to strengthen and forge stronger economic links with Vietnam while the nation could enter the South Asian market through investments here.

“More and more Vietnamese business ventures could explore the potential of Sri Lanka’s business and market environment where Vietnamese could approach the huge and ever-growing South Asian market,” he said.

“Sri Lanka is developing its economic strategy in line with its strategic location in the Asian Waters (Ocean). The vision of Sri Lanka’s way forward is to develop the logistical hub between Singapore and Dubai in the Asian Waters.”

Colombo port is one of the busiest ports in the world, De Silva said and can play an important role in this context. The newly established Hambantota Port will also join with the country’s economic and trade strategy and be a vital base of maritime transportation.

The Minister who just concluded a tour to Vietnam said the main focus of the discussion between the two nations was Vietnam’s strategy on economic development, sectors for bilateral cooperation, with special emphasis on attracting investment to Sri Lanka.

Discussions also focused on improving bilateral trade in line with the agreement reached at the Sub Committee on Trade held in Colombo in March 2015 that highlighted the strategic location of Sri Lanka, as an important logistical hub for air connectivity and the promotion of tourism, trade and investment.

De Silva emphasized that just as Sri Lanka welcomes businesses to invest in Sri Lanka and it also encourages Sri Lankan companies to take the comparative advantages that are offered elsewhere.

He welcomed Sri Lankan companies expanding their global footprint and establishing operations overseas.

Linea Aqua, a subsidiary of the MAS Holdings of Sri Lanka, opened a factory just outside Hanoi city, where De Silva had participated in the inauguration.

Sri Lankan investment in Vietnam stood at 76.5 million US dollars with 14 projects, while Vietnamese investment in Sri Lanka was one project, yet to operationalize.

Further, the visit preceded an important period during which Viet Nam signed the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement and Free Trade Agreement with the EU, clearly giving a high leverage for the country over most other developing countries, opening doors to fast track its economy.