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Sri Lanka Vietnam eye preferential trade deal, agri-fisheries links

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka and Vietnam had agreed to work on a free trade deal and advance co-operation in fisheries and agriculture at a meeting between the island’s foreign minister and the South East Asian nation’s envoy to Colombo.

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and outgoing Viet Nam Ambassador Pham Thi Bich Ngoc had “agreed that in order to advance trade relations between the two countries, it is important to pursue a Preferential Trade Agreement,” the Foreign Ministry said.

Ambassador Bich Ngoc had offered to share best practices, knowledge and technology transfer, in fisheries and agriculture.

Minister Gunawardena had sought assistance in canning industry, especially fish canning and fish feed production.

Ambassador Pham ThiBich Ngoc offered to collaborate in the fisheries sector rural fishing, and fish farming in Batticaloa and Mullaithivu.

Vietnam however has extensive expertise in aquaculture, analysts familiar with the country say.

In 2019 Sri Lanka’s wild catch was estimated 415,000 metric tonnes, aquaculture11,000 tones and shrimp farming 6,000 metric tonnes.

In 2020 Vietnam’s total wild catch was estimated at 3.86 million metric tonnes with all types of aquaculture estimated at 4.5 million metric tonnes.

Fish farming was 3.1 million metric tonnes, shrimp 949,900 metric tonnes and others 478,500 tonnes.

In 2020 Vietnam exported 8.3 billion US dollars of aquatic products. (Colombo/Jan31/2021)

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