Dhaka, Hanoi to work to double bilateral trade volume by 2021


Dhaka, December 27: Bangladesh and Vietnam want to work closely to enhance the bilateral trade volume from around $1 billion to $2 billion by 2021.The two countries held the second meeting of the Joint Trade Committee (JTC) in Hanoi on Thursday-Friday and discussed ways to double the bilateral trade volume.

Dhaka and Hanoi discussed trade and investment issues and identified 11 priority areas including agricultural trade and pharmaceutical exports from Bangladesh to Vietnam.

Vietnamese investment in Bangladesh’s Special Economic Zones, ICT sector cooperation, bilateral cooperation in textile and garments sector, trade in Halal products, trade in software services, direct air link, promotion of trade in jute and jute goods, banking sector cooperation and tourism sector cooperation (including Buddhist tourism) were also discussed.

Commerce Secretary Dr Md Jafar Uddin and Vietnam’s Deputy Minister for Industry and Trade Cao Quoc Hung led their respective sides at the JTC meeting.

Bangladesh Ambassador to Vietnam Samina Naz and Director General (South East Asia), MOFA MJH Jabed attended the meeting as members of Bangladesh delegation.

Bangladesh requested Vietnam to send delegations to visit Bangladesh and gain firsthand experience about the pharmaceutical industry, Hi-tech parks and Special Economic Zones in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh also requested Vietnam to assist Bangladeshi potato exporters to enter Vietnamese markets by completing the SPS registration process.

The Vietnamese side responded affirmatively to Bangladesh’s request, according to Bangladesh Embassy in Hanoi.

Vietnam suggested that in case of future requirement, Bangladesh may import quality rice from Vietnam in fulfillment of the existing MoU on rice import from Vietnam.

Both sides recognised the high potential of tourism sector to flourish and in that respect viewed that direct air link between the two countries can hugely contribute.

It was agreed that private sector airlines operators between the two countries would be encouraged to assess the market and introduce flights.

Bangladesh requested Vietnam to ease the visa process for Bangladeshi tourists especially businesspersons.

To ease business transaction, both sides agreed to encourage commercial banks to open branches in each other’s capital.

The two sides agreed to constitute a Joint Business Council comprising apex business bodies of both countries.

The Commerce Secretary also called on Vice-President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Doan Duy Khuong at the VCCI office and requested for more cooperation at B2B levels and sought interventions of VCCI.