08:21 | 09/04/2018 Cooperation
(VEN) - Vietnam and Bangladesh expect to increase bilateral trade to US$2 billion by 2020 compared with almost US$1 billion in 2017, following Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang’s visit to Bangladesh from March 4-6.
Vietnam’s President Tran Dai Quang and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina agreed about the potential for expanding trade between their two countries given that both have large populations, a young workforce, dynamic businesses, and both are gateways in the Southeast and the South of Asia. They spoke highly of the fast growth in bilateral trade, which reached almost US$900 million in 2017 and is expected to double by 2020.
The two sides discussed potential for increased ties in textiles and garments, leather and footwear, tanning, food processing, and pharmaceuticals by establishing joint ventures and direct flights between the two countries.
Prime Minister Hasina pledged to provide the best conditions for Vietnamese businesses to expand their investment in Bangladesh. She also expressed his hope that her country would learn from Vietnam’s experience in farming and applying new technology to increase agricultural productivity, while continuing to import Vietnamese rice.
Leaders of the two countries attended a signing ceremony for a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam and the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock of Bangladesh, regarding cooperation in fisheries and livestock breeding from 2018-2020; an MoU between the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam and the Ministry of Industry of Bangladesh, regarding cooperation in machine production; and a program for cultural exchange between the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism of Vietnam and the Ministry of Culture Affairs of Bangladesh.
Boosting trade, investment
Economic relations between the two countries have developed in recent years. Vietnam has exported clinker and cement to Bangladesh (accounting for about 25 percent of Vietnam’s total exports to this country), rice, fiber and knitting fiber, textiles and garments, textile and garment materials, machinery, equipment, and spare parts, while importing textile and garment materials, leather and footwear, medicines, sesame, seafood and fiber from this market. By December 2017, Bangladesh had four investment projects in Vietnam with total registered capital of US$615,000, taking 99th place among the 125 countries and territories investing in Vietnam.
Vietnam currently has only one investment project in Bangladesh with total capital of US$27,900, taking 68th place among the 72 countries and territories in which Vietnam has invested.
Bangladesh pledged to give the highest priority to Vietnamese investors in areas such as electricity, information technology, footwear, infrastructure, ornamental plants, seeds, vegetables and fruits.
Given the Bangladesh market potential with a population of more than 160 million, and the country’s many similarities with Vietnam, the Ministries of Industry and Trade, and Planning and Investment of Vietnam are helping businesses enhance their ties with Bangladesh in agriculture and fisheries, industries, handicrafts, finance and banking, culture, education and training, and healthcare.