Myriad of cooperation attainments await Vietnam Bangladesh leaders.jpg 

President Truong Tan Sang (R) welcomes his Bangladeshi counterpart Abdul Hamid (Photo: VNA)

During their talks in Hanoi on August 10, they rejoiced at the sound development of the countries’ traditional amity and multifaceted cooperation since the establishment of their relations in 1973, affirming the resolve to bring bilateral ties to a new level. 

The two sides have maintained all-level delegation exchanges and signed a number of cooperation agreements on economics, trade, investment, culture, agriculture, science-technology and aviation. Notably, their trade leapt 2.5 times from 288 million USD in 2010 to almost 800 million USD in 2014, the leaders noted. 

Bangladesh, the youngest nation in the South Asian region, has shared its expertise in joining United Nations peacekeeping forces with Vietnam and coordinated in trans-national crime prevention. 

The two countries have also worked closely at regional and international forums, including with UN agencies. In 2012, Bangladesh recognised Vietnam’s full market economy. 

At the talks, the leaders agreed to expand bilateral cooperation to potential areas with a focus on politics, defence-security, economics-trade, agri-aquaculture, science-technology, culture and tourism. They also concurred to increase all-level visits, people-to-people exchanges and policy consultations and dialogues. 

Vietnam and Bangladesh will work together to shortly organise the third meeting of the joint committee on economic, trade, cultural and scientific-technological cooperation and the first political consultation between the two foreign ministries. They will also consider signing cooperation agreements in advantageous fields. 

The two sides said their defence-security partnership needs to be reinforced through mutual visits, joint personnel training and sharing information about transnational crime and illegal migration prevention and participation in UN peacekeeping activities. 

Host and guest highlighted the annual 40 percent growth in bilateral trade to reach 800 million USD last year. 

They elaborated that Bangladesh’s population is double that of Vietnam while the scale and development level of the economies are equal, their geographical locations are not too far and consumption demand is in line with their supply capacity. Therefore, Bangladesh is a potential market for Vietnamese companies to boost their exports to and investments in. 

At the talks, the Presidents targeted to reach 1 billion USD in bilateral trade in 2016, achieved through facilitating companies’ contacts, information sharing and business opportunity seeking. 

They have asked their ministries of agriculture to actively implement the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on fishery and livestock cooperation and the MoU on agricultural cooperation signed in 2012. The countries will tighten linkages in sustainable agricultural and aquacultural development, efforts to adapt to climate change and prevent the imposition of anti-dumping duties on their aquatic products. 

Vietnam and Bangladesh will widen their cooperation to other potential realms such as garment-textiles, mining, energy, chemistry, machinery, consumer goods production, food processing, steel manufacturing, construction and telecommunications. 

The leaders were unanimous in maintaining the sound cooperation and mutual support at regional and international forums, especially of the UN, Non-Aligned Movement, South-South Cooperation, ASEAN Regional Forum and Asia-Europe Meeting. 

Vietnam will consider advocating Bangladesh become a dialogue partner of ASEAN and support Bangladesh’s further substantive affiliation with the bloc. 

Touching upon regional and international issues of mutual interest, President Truong Tan Sang voiced concerns over recent developments in the East Sea and renewed Vietnam’s stance on maintaining peace, stability, security and marine and aviation safety and freedom in the region; peacefully settling disputes on the basis of international laws—including the 1982 UN Convention of the Law of the Sea; not using force or threatening to use force; fully implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC); and working to expeditiously complete a code of conduct in the waters (COC). 

President Abdul Hamid said regional and global peace and stability is crucial to cooperation and development and that all countries must respect basic internationally-recognised principles and promote dialogues to peacefully resolve all disputes and ensure maritime safety and freedom.​
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