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4 March, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 4 March, 2018 01:34:49 AM
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Vietnamese president due today

Bangladesh to seek better understanding on Rohingya
Diplomatic Correspondent
Vietnamese president due today

Dhaka will seek for a better understanding from Hanoi in relations to the ongoing Rohingya crisis engulfing Bangladesh during the three-day visit of Vietnamese president Tran Dai Quang to Bangladesh starting today, senior officials of the foreign ministry said. In the voting at the third committee under the United Nations General Assembly last year, Vietnam, an ASEAN member like Myanmar, voted against a Rohingya-related resolution that was passed by a huge margin condemning the atrocities against the persecuted people from Myanmar. “Definitely, the Rohingya crisis will be discussed during the Vietnamese president’s visit as it has implications that go beyond Bangladesh and Myanmar,” a top official of the foreign ministry told The Independent. “We hope Vietnam will better understand the issue and its implications in the region and play a role in persuading its ASEAN colleague Myanmar to take its people back,” said another senior official.

Although the Rohingya issue will be discussed, the visit of the Vietnamese president, who will be accompanied by a big business delegation, will mainly focus on trade and investment, said the officials.

Six to seven bilateral instruments covering cooperation in different sectors are expected to be signed during the visit, they said.

Ambassador to Vietnam Samina Naz believes that the visit of the Vietnamese president will boost the bilateral trade significantly.

“I see the visit of the honourable president to Bangladesh as a glowing mark of renewed relations that is going to take a big jump in boosting the bilateral trade which is aimed to reach $ 1 billion by this year,” she said. “One of the problems is that both Bangladeshi and Vietnamese companies are not fully aware about each other’s market, which we need to explore. We need to tap the full potentials and opportunities that we may offer and extend to each other,” said the ambassador.  

“This would definitely bring positive outcome in relations of these two South Asian and South-East Asian countries which are lying very close to each other geographically,” she added. The officials concerned said that given the existence of many commonalities between the two countries, the trade volume might go much higher if businesses of both the nations know each other better.

“The present bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Vietnam are experiencing and going through a renewed strength. Both countries went through tremendous socio-economic changes and progress which are noteworthy,” said ambassador Naz.

Recalling the first ever foreign office consultations (FOC) between Bangladesh and Vietnam on August 6, 2017, she said that the talks actually helped the two countries realise ‘the tremendous potential they have to offer to each other to take the relationship to a newer height’.

“So, this was the new beginning of the strengthened relationship. I feel extremely happy that the FOC took place and the visit of the president is happening right after my appointment as the Bangladesh ambassador to Vietnam,” she added.

Apart from a big business delegation, the Vietnamese president will be also accompanied by the deputy prime minister and the foreign minister. About the focus of the visit, the Bangladesh envoy said, “The areas of the focus will be on their bests. For instance, both Dhaka and Hanoi could cooperate and share experiences in agriculture, aquaculture, pearl cultivation, fisheries and livestock, and pharmaceuticals. Remember, Vietnam is one of the largest rice exporters of the world.”

“Industrial cooperation may take a new shape which can benefit both. Very recently, a private level Bangladesh delegation visited Ho Chi Minh City and signed ‘expression of interest’ jointly with Vietnam in LNG sector,” she said, placing emphasis on working on all possible mechanisms like G2G (government to government), B2B (business to business) and private to benefit from the untapped potentials of both the countries.     

Seminar on business promotion, hosting fair in both countries and frequent exchanges of delegations can establish better communication between the two peoples to help the relationship grow further, said the envoy.

At present the bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Vietnam stands at $800 million which is heavily in favour of the ASEAN country. From January to October last year, Bangladesh imported products worth $750 million from Vietnam while exported produces amounting to $50 million.

While in Bangladesh, Vietnamese president Quang will meet President Abdul Hamid and hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina where aside from trade and investment, regional and international issues of mutual interest will be discussed, said the foreign ministry officials.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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