Vietnam-Bangladesh relations have witnessed great strides in all fields, from politics, trade, economy to culture and people-to-people exchanges, since the establishment of diplomatic ties 45 years ago (February 17, 1973), said Vietnamese Ambassador to Bangladesh Tran Van Khoa.
Bilateral economic and trade ties have made remarkable progress, Khoa told the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) in an interview. Two-way trade soared by 10 times in eight years, from 82 million USD in 2009 to more than 920 million USD last year, he said, adding that Vietnam’s exports to Bangladesh grew 15 times during the period, from about 60 million USD in 2009 to 868 million USD in 2017.
Cultural events like Vietnamese Food Festival in Dhaka, seminars on President Ho Chi Minh’s life and career and the publication of the book “Bac Ho viet di chuc” (How Ho Chi Minh wrote his testament) by Vu Ky, a longtime personal secretary of President Ho Chi Minh, in Bengali language have enhanced mutual understanding between the people of Vietnam and Bangladesh, the ambassador noted.
However, investment between the two sides remained modest. To date Vietnam has invested only 10 million USD in a project in Bangladesh, a 160-million-people market and a gateway to the South Asian markets, Khoa noted.
The ambassador suggested the two nations to pay greater attention to tackling barriers that have impeded the flows of investment into each other’s market. In addition, bilateral trade has focused on a few sectors like building materials and pharmaceuticals while there are a lot of potential areas for cooperation awaiting the two sides to unleash, such as information technology and telecommunications, food processing, agriculture and aquaculture, infrastructure development, chemistry and mechanical engineering, he said.
Regarding President Tran Dai Quang’s visit to Bangladesh, Khoa said the trip is of particular significance as it is the first visit by a Vietnamese President to the South Asian country in 14 years and especially when the two countries are celebrating the 45th founding anniversary of diplomatic relations.
The visit is even more meaningful in the context that the two sides have harvested remarkable development in all areas, including politics, economy, trade, culture, education and defence, he stressed.
About 4-5 Memoranda of Understanding are expected to be inked in the fields of animal husbandry, aquaculture, machinery manufacturing, culture and training during the visit.
President Tran Dai Quang is scheduled to hold talks with Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and meet with President Mohammad Abdul Hamid and Speaker of the Bangladeshi Parliament Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, he added.
The president will also participate in the Vietnam-Bangladesh Business Forum, which will take place for the first time in the Bangladeshi capital city of Dhaka on March 6, expecting about 300 business leaders from both sides in attendance.
The forum, together with many other economic diplomatic activities deployed by the embassy through the year, is hoped to help Vietnam and Bangladesh to achieve the target of 1 billion USD in two-way trade in the time to come, the ambassador said.