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Dhaka seeks greater ties with Hanoi, targets $1bn trade

  • Published at 08:00 pm February 25th, 2018
Dhaka seeks greater ties with Hanoi, targets $1bn trade
Bangladesh is looking for broader trade and investment ties with Vietnam and is preparing to make the best use of the upcoming visit of the Vietnam president to Bangladesh. President Tran Dai Quang will arrive in Dhaka on a three-day state visit to Bangladesh on March 4 at the invitation of his Bangladesh counterpart Md Abdul Hamid. The two countries are likely to sign six to seven agreements and Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) during the visit, officials said. "A big focus will be on trade and investment. Our target is to reach $1 billion trade," Bangladesh Ambassador to Vietnam Samina Naz told UNB. She said a big business delegation will accompany the Vietnamese president during his Dhaka visit. A business forum will be held at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon hotel in the capital on March 6. Over 100 business representatives from Vietnam companies will interact with their Bangladesh counterparts and explore trade and investment potentials in Bangladesh. Responding to a question, Samina said they are looking into cooperation in the areas of agriculture, pearl cultivation, fisheries and livestock, industrial cooperation, cultural exchange and pharmaceutical. Vietnam President Quang will meet President Hamid and will hold official talks with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali during the visit. [caption id="attachment_249037" align="aligncenter" width="800"] File photo of Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang | Reuters[/caption] Hasina and Hamid had visited Vietnam in November 2012 and in 2015, respectively. During Quang’s visit, the two sides are expected to exchange ideas on regional and international issues of mutual concern, and agreed to enhance their cooperation at international forums, including the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in addition to boosting coordination in dealing with global issues such as climate change and food security, officials said. A Foreign Ministry official said the existing bilateral relations will be strengthened further with new areas of cooperation with Quang’s visit. Officials said Bangladesh is keen to share its experience and achievements in the areas of poverty reduction, disaster management and achieving the MDGs and now working for SDGs. Earlier, Vietnamese Ambassador to Bangladesh Tran Van Khoa said the exchange of trade delegations will usher a new horizon of business interaction between the entrepreneurs of both countries. The bilateral trade volume between Bangladesh and Vietnam crossed $900 million in 2017 but the trade volume has not reached the targeted $1 billion yet, according to Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI). But compared to the previous year, the trade volume increased by 50-60% in 2017, even though the bilateral trade volume is still in favour of Vietnam. To mark the 45th year of diplomatic relation between Dhaka and Hanoi, a trade fair will be organized in Bangladesh this year by the Vietnamese government, said DCCI officials. Earlier, Bangladesh handed over an invitation letter from the Bangladesh president during the first Foreign Office Consultations held in Dhaka in August 2017.