Tran Dai Quang for more Vietnam’s investment in Bangladesh

 DHAKA, Mar 6, 2018 (BSS)- Terming Bangladesh as a potential country for investment, visiting Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang said his country wants to invest in telecommunications, agriculture, information technology (IT), textile, oil and gas and infrastructure of Bangladesh to take the bilateral relations to a new height.

“Here are a lot of opportunities for investments with the current size of the economy of Bangladesh . . . it is a big market and has the low-cost production facility. Bangladesh’s English language is good,” said Quang while addressing a group of businesspeople of both the countries here today.

The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) organised the “Vietnam-Bangladesh Business Forum” at Sonargaon Hotel with the apex trade body president Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin in the chair. Commerce minister Tofail Ahmed also spoke at the event.

“We would like to take the bilateral trade between the two countries to $1 billion at the end of this year. We have a target to take the balance of bilateral trade to $2 billion by the end of 2020,” said the Vietnam president.

“We would like to encourage bilateral trade in rice, agricultural products, textile and food processing,” he added.

Lauding Bangladesh socioeconomic development Quang said he has been impressed to see the Bangladesh’s socioeconomic development. Riding on the current pace of development Bangladesh has set a vision to be a middle income country by 2020, he said, adding, “I hope Bangladesh would be able to achieve this target within that stipulated time and it would be a digitalized country.”

“Actually, I’m impressed with Bangladesh’s enormous social and economic development. Bangladesh is a role model in the world in poverty reduction,” Quang said.

Expressing his country’s eagerness to strengthen the long-term business friendly relationship with Bangladesh, he suggested reforming the policies of Bangladesh for attracting more foreign investment here.

While focusing on the Vietnam’s present foreign investment trend, Quang said currently a lot of Vietnamese companies have investment in mining, telecom, banking and finance worldwide.

He said currently Vietnam has $320 billion foreign investments due to improved infrastructures, liberal economic policies and the country has been maintaining GDP growth between 6.5 percent and 7 percent over the last few years.

He suggested Bangladesh for more innovation, higher productivity, adoption of green technologies, developing the domestic markets, environment friendly industrialisation, greater transparency and enhancing competitiveness for attracting higher foreign investment.

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said Bangladesh is already a lower middle income country and very soon the country would graduate to a middle income country as the per capita income is increasing, it has developed the human resources and offset the economic vulnerabilities.

Tofail offered a special economic zone for the Vietnamese investors as the government has been developing 100 such zones across the country both for local and foreign investors.

FBCCI president Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin said Vietnam-Bangladesh Business Forum held in Vietnam recently identified agro processing, food processing, infrastructure development, ICT, telecom, energy, as the promising sectors for Vietnam and Bangladesh joint venture for technology transfer and cooperation.

The businesspeople of both the countries agreed to form a Bangladesh Vietnam Business Council to focus on sectors and modality to promote trade and investments between the two countries, said Mohiuuddin.

At the business forum three investment agreements were signed in presence of the Quang.

In the first agreement, Vietnam’s leading leathergoods manufacturer TBS will invest $100 million in Bangladesh in leathergoods sector. Saiful Islam, president of Leathergoods and Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association of Bangladesh and Diep Thanh Kiet, vice chairman of Vietnam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association, signed the agreement.

Two other agreements were signed by Kazi Belayet Hossain, vice-president of the Bangladesh Frozen Foods Exporters Association, and Nguyen Minh Tuan, director of Minh Cuong Seafood Import, Kien Cuong Seafood Import to set up two joint venture seafood processing companies in Bangladesh.

In 2016-17, Bangladesh imported goods worth $417 million and exported goods worth $66.44 million, according to the data from the FBCCI.