|At the event
The seminar aimed to promote bilateral trade by seeking measures to remove difficulties for businesses of both nations.
Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Ambassador Tran Van Khoa pointed out a couple of key barriers hindering bilateral trade growth.
Firstly, the two countries’ exports currently rely on several commodities, such as Vietnam’s clinker, cement and rice and Bangladesh’s pharmaceutical products, meaning that two-way trade remains low and unstable.
Secondly, Vietnamese enterprises are facing many difficulties in shipping goods to Chittagong port – the largest of its kind in Bangladesh, where up to 90 percent of import-export activities in the country occur.
Limitations in goods loading and unloading, as well as in port infrastructure have led to congestions at the port, causing losses for Vietnamese businesses, Khoa said.
To solve these difficulties, the diplomat advised the two countries’ enterprises to intensify information sharing, step up product promotion via trade fairs and exhibitions, thus helping diversify export products.
He requested that the Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) provide more support for Vietnamese businesses, especially in speeding up customs clearance at the port to minimise costs. This would help consolidate the Vietnamese side’s confidence when working with Bangladeshi partners, Khoa noted.
CCCI Chairman Mahbubul Alam called on Vietnamese enterprises to increase investment and set up joint ventures with Bangladeshi partners in the fields of information technology, telecommunications, and agricultural and seafood processing.
He affirmed the CCCI’s commitments to creating the most favourable conditions for Vietnamese firms who want to do business and make investment in Chittagong.
At the seminar, Bangladeshi enterprises showed their interest in expanding cooperation with Vietnamese partners, especially in aquaculture, food processing, building material production, and in establishing joint venture projects in information technology, telecommunications, and electronic spare parts.
Two-way trade enjoyed a year-on-year rise of 57 percent to reach 924 million USD in 2017, of which 869 million USD came from Vietnam’s exports. The number of Vietnamese enterprises exporting goods to Bangladesh in 2017 increase by 7.4 percent year-on-year. Vietnam ships clinker, cement, rice, fibre, mobile phones, and components to Bangladesh, while importing pharmaceutical products, seafood, and tobacco materials from the country.