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Vietnamese, Bangladeshi leaders hold talks

President Tran Dai Quang and Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina agreed to exert greater efforts to double the two countries’ two-way trade, which stood at nearly 900 million USD in 2017, during their talks in Dhaka on March 5.

At the talks, which took place during the State visit to Bangladesh by President Tran Dai Quang from March 4-6, the leaders outlined major orientations as well as specific measures for bilateral relations across sectors in the future.

To that end, they said that the two countries should bring into full play their advantages to gain better cooperative results as both are potential markets with huge population, young labour force and dynamic business communities, and the gate way of Southeast Asia and South Asia.

PM Hasina stated she is impressed by Vietnam’s socio-economic development achievements, believing that President Quang’s visit on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties will open up more opportunities to raise the relations into a new height.

Both host and guest discussed the possibility of cooperation in garment and textiles, leather shoes and leather products, food processing and pharmaceuticals on the basis of each country’s strengths, while pledging to speed up the opening of a direct air route connecting the two countries.

The Bangladeshi leader committed to creating all favourable conditions to help Vietnamese enterprises expand investments in his nation.

She expressed her hope to learn from Vietnam’s experience in agricultural production, affirming to continue importing Vietnamese rice.

The two leaders reached a consensus on strengthening collaboration in defence, security, education, tourism, culture and people-to-people diplomacy, and maintaining good relationship at regional and international forums, including the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, ASEAN Region Forum, and Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).

Discussing regional and global situations of mutual concern, they expressed their support for the promotion of peace, stability, security, and aviation and maritime freedom and safety in the East Sea, as well as the settlement of disputes by peaceful means on the basis of international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982, the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, and the formation of a practical Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

President Quang took this occasion to invite PM Hasina to visit Vietnam at an appropriate time.

After the talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of several cooperative documents: a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on aquaculture and husbandry cooperation during 2018-2022 between the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Bangladesh’s Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, an MoU on machinery manufacturing cooperation between Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade and Bangladesh’s Ministry of Industries, and an agreement on cultural exchange programmes between Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and Bangladesh’s Ministry of Culture.

At the post-talks press conference, PM Hasina stressed that Vietnam is one of the closest neighbors of Bangladesh, which shares the same aspirations of promoting peace and development, as well as similarities in terms of culture and traditional social values with her country.

She affirmed the Bangladeshi Government encourages enterprises of the two countries to seek business and investment opportunities in each other’s markets.

The Bangladeshi Government wishes to set up a dialogue partnership by sector with ASEAN, and join the Mekong-Lancang Cooperation forum, she said.

Highlighting the fruitful development of the bilateral relations, President Quang stressed that on the solid basis of the diplomatic ties over the past 45 years, and great potentials of the two nations, the leaders agreed to seek suitable measures for creating breakthroughs, towards deepening the bilateral relations in a more intensive, practical and effective manner, for the sake of their people.

He said along with agreeing on key orientations for the relations, many specific measures have been outlined to promote cooperation across fields from politics-diplomacy; defence-security; economy-trade-investment; agriculture – breeding; to education-training; culture and tourism.

The two sides will enhance exchange of high-level visits and fully tap bilateral cooperation mechanisms, as well as exploit possibilities of connections in defence-security, especially in defence industry, logistics and military health care, he noted.

Meanwhile, they also proposed ways to lift the two-way trade to 2 billion USD in 2020, as well as considered the possibility of forming joint ventures, associations, and production chains; and apply high technologies in agricultural production, he added.

President Quang praised Bangladesh for its support for Vietnam's candidacy to the UN International Law Committee for the 2017-2021 tenure and to the Executive Council of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) in 2017-2021.

On the morning of the same day, President Quang and his entourage paid a floral tribute to the National Martyrs' Memorial in Savar, which commemorates anonymous martyrs that scarified their lives for Bangladesh’s independence and freedom.

The Vietnamese delegation also laid a wreath at the National Memorial Museum in Dhaka which commemorates Bangladesh’s Father of Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman – the first President of the country.