Oct 13, Colombo: The President of Vietnam, Truong Tan Sang, accompanied by his wife and a high-powered business delegation arrived in Sri Lanka today on a three day official visit on an invitation extended by his Sri Lankan counterpart President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa and First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa warmly welcomed the Vietnamese President and First Lady of Vietnam Mai Thi Hanh at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake.
The visiting President was accorded a guard of honour by the Sri Lanka Navy, followed by a 21-gun salute.
The high-level entourage of President Sang includes the Deputy Prime Minister, Finance Minister, several deputy ministers and a 60 – member business delegation.
This is the first state visit by a Vietnamese President to Sri Lanka since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1970.
During his visit aimed at strengthening the bilateral relations between the two countries, President Sang is expected to hold talks with President Rajapaksa, the Prime Minister, the Speaker, the Minister of External Affairs and several other senior officials of the government.
At the conclusion of discussions, several agreements and MoUs are expected to be signed in a range of sectors such as political, defence, investment, finance, education & training, machinery manufacturing etc., the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement yesterday.
On Friday (14) the Vietnamese President will also inaugurate the Sri Lanka – Viet Nam Business Forum jointly organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and the National Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with Ministry of External Affairs and the Embassy of Vietnam in Colombo.
President Rajapaksa will host his Vietnamese counterpart to a state banquet on Friday.
During the visit the two First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa will accompany her Vietnamese counterpart to the Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy tomorrow (14). They are also expected to visit a pre-school in Colombo that afternoon on the invitation of Mrs. Rajapaksa.
The External Affairs Ministry said that President Sang’s visit will mark an important milestone in Sri Lanka – Vietnam relations and would pave the way for greater economic cooperation between the two countries.