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Tuesday, August 11, 2015, Shraban 27, 1422 BS, Shawal 25, 1436 Hijr

Bangladesh,Vietnam firm on raising trade to $1b
Diplomatic Correspondent
Published :Tuesday, 11 August, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 29
President Abdul Hamid, visiting Vietnam, told his counterpart Truong Tan Sang on Monday that Bangladesh was determined to raise the two countries' annual bilateral trade to US$1,000 million by next year.
President Hamid is on a 4-day state visit to Vietnam at the invitation of President Truong Tan Sang.
During the 80-minute meeting, the two Presidents also agreed to remove barriers to trade and investment in the two countries. They pointed out that there were room for further expansion of bilateral trade and investment and agreed to explore further trade potentials.
According to Bangladesh Foreign Ministry, the existing trade volume between the two countries is less than $700 million. During July-June in 2014-15, Bangladesh exported products worth $32.77 million to Vietnam while imported items worth $318.4 million from the Southeast Asian country.
The official talks between the two Presidents were held at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Vietnam, in a very friendly and cordial atmosphere and covered the entire range of bilateral and international issues of common interest.
Earlier on their arrival at the Presidential palace, Abdul Hamid and his spouse Rasheda Khanom were given a grand reception by Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang and madam Mai Thai Hanh.
Both sides noted that there remained great potential for cooperation and agreed to create the most favourable business environment for enterprises from both countries in order to expand investment and business in each country.
Acknowledging the importance of enhancing the scope of bilateral cooperation, the Bangladesh President underscored the need for frequent exchange of high level visits to ensure closer cooperation.
Both the leaders also agreed the importance of establishing regular Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) between the two countries at the earliest.
Both sides agreed to cooperate in the field of security and defence through exchange of delegations, experience sharing in peacekeeping operations, combating transnational crimes and irregular migration.
They also agreed in principle to hold meetings of the Joint Economic Commission regularly, exchange market information and go for tourism exchange, combat transitional crimes and irregular migration and work together in regional and international fora.
The two leaders noted with satisfaction the positive progress of the traditional friendship and multi-faceted cooperation between Bangladesh and Vietnam over the past 40 years.
Abdul Hamid said, "Like the great leader of Vietnam Ho Chi Minh, Our Father of the Nation Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was deeply committed to building a prosperous nation. It gives me immense joy that both countries are advancing fast to fulfil the dreams of their great leaders."
The two Leaders agreed to foster cooperation, sharing of experience and expertise in agriculture and aquaculture sustainable development; fully and effectively implement the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Aquaculture and Farming Cooperation and the MoU on Agricultural Cooperation concluded during the visit to Vietnam by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2012.
The two sides appreciated the close cooperation and coordination between the two countries at regional and international forums.
Vietnam assured of its support in obtaining ASEAN Dialogue Partnership for Bangladesh.
The two sides underscored the importance of joint development of their respective tourism sectors. In this context, the Bangladesh side requested Vietnam side to simplify its visa regime for Bangladesh business entrepreneurs, investors and tourists to further increase people to people contact.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam, Bangladesh Ambassador to Vietnam Shahab Ullah and Ambassador of Vietnam to Bangladesh Nguyen Quang Thuc were present on the occasion.
President Md. Abdul Hamid extended invitation to President Truong Tan Sang to visit Bangladesh at a mutually convenient time.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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