First ever Foreign Office Consultations between the Foreign Ministries of Bangladesh and Vietnam took place today, 06 August 2017 at the State Guest House Meghna. Foreign Secretary Md. Shahidul Haque led the Bangladesh delegation while Dang Dinh Quy, Vice Minister, Ministry of the Foreign Affairs, led the Vietnam side.
The Meeting was held in a warm and cordial atmosphere. While both sides expressed satisfaction at the current state of bilateral relations, they stressed on the need for regular exchange of visits at political level, including at the highest level, as well as regular contacts and interaction at the functional level, to steer bilateral cooperation.
During the meeting, major areas of bilateral cooperation were discussed at length. Bilateral trade received a major focus in the Consultation. While noting the fact that the two-way trade between Bangladesh and Vietnam has increased substantially in recent years, both sides agreed that the trade volume was far less than the existing potentials. Bangladesh flagged the need to find ways to address the existing trade gap in favour of Vietnam and requested Vietnam to consider relaxing the registration process and accepting the bio-equivalence and traceability tests done in other ASEAN countries which will make our pharmaceutical products available in Vietnam at a competitive price and help in reducing the trade gap. Both the countries agreed to work closely to achieve the target of enhancing bilateral trade volume to USD 1 billion.
Bangladesh sought deeper cooperation in the Agriculture and Fisheries & Livestock sectors, particularly in agricultural research to develop stress tolerant and high yielding varieties rice and tropical fruits, exchange of germplasms and developing sustainable pearl culture technology.
Vietnam expressed interest to enhance bilateral trade volume and to facilitate investment in both the countries. Bangladesh also sought Vietnam’s cooperation in Shipbuilding and Ship breaking sectors. Vietnam expressed willingness to boost up bilateral cooperation in the education and tourism sectors.
Bangladesh requested Vietnam to ease the visa process for the Bangladeshi businessmen and tourists.
Bangladesh sought Vietnam’s support in favour of Bangladesh’s initiative to become a “Sectoral Dialogue Partner” of ASEAN and also to join the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC) initiative. Vietnam welcomed Bangladesh’s interest to build institutional relations with the ASEAN as Sectoral Dialogue Partner and to join the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC) initiative and agreed to facilitate Bangladesh’s initiatives.
The Vice Minister of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs met the State Minister for Affairs, Md. Shahriar Alam, M.P, today, 06 August 2017 at the Foreign Ministry. The Vice Minister also visited the Banabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi to pay respect to memory of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on 05 August 2017. He is scheduled to leave Dhaka tomorrow, 07 August 2017.