Bangladesh can be trade hub in ASEAN, South Asian countries : FBCCI

Published : 23 Sep 2023 08:30 PM

Bangladesh can be the trade hub and bridge of business between the ASEAN, South Asian and South East Asian countries. 

FBCCI Vice President Dr. Joshoda Jibon Deb Nath opined this during a courtesy call with Vuong Dinh Hue, President of the National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam held today at the Hotel InterContinental in Dhaka. 

The FBCCI Vice President said that Bangladesh would soon graduate from LDC countries in 2026, and it will try to enter into several FTA and PTA with South East Asian emerging economic tigers, said a press release.

Bolstering bilateral trade with Vietnam will provide Bangladesh access to new markets, especially with members of ASEAN, he said.

On the other side, ASEAN seeks external economic and trading relations with many developed and developing countries, Jashoda added.

With its economic potential and geographic rapport, Bangladesh can offer ASEAN a bridge between South Asia and South East Asia.' 

Therefore, Bangladesh might go for regional comprehensive economic partnership (RCEP) with the ASEAN to secure a win-win trading relationship, he added. 

Dr. Joshoda said, "Both Vietnam and Bangladesh are not only historically connected by our common struggles for right to Sovereignty; as nations we are resilient, perseverant and dynamic." He said this year marks the Golden Jubilee of Diplomatic ties between the two countries. Besides trade in goods, he said the FBCCI is interested in increasing investment and business collaboration between the two countries.  To diversify export basket, Dr Jashoda said Bangladesh might explore the demographic dividend and technology of Vietnam through joint ventures investments in the SEZs. In his remark, the President of the National Assembly of Vietnam Vuong Dinh Hue said both Bangladesh and Vietnam shares excellent bilateral friendship. 

Recently, both the countries celebrated the 50 years of diplomatic relationship. Bangladesh is the second largest trade partner of Vietnam in South Asia. 

Vietnam is interested in enhancing bilateral trade with Bangladesh, he mentioned. 

He invited the business leaders and dignitaries of FBCCI to visit Vietnam and explore the market. Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and other related ministries will be working closely with the government of Bangladesh and FBCCI to facilitate the trade and businesses of the two countries, he added. 

Later, a discussion meeting titled, 'Forum on Policies and Laws to promote the economic, trade and investment cooperation between Vietnam and Bangladesh' was held at the hotel.

In her welcoming speech at the discussion meeting, FBCCI Vice President Shomi Kaiser said that Economic and trade partnership has been a highlight of bilateral relations for the two countries. 

Two-way trade maintaining a rising trend in recent years, reaching US$ 1102.77 million in 2021-22, of which Bangladesh export to Vietnam was US$ 92.77 million and import from Vietnam amounted to US$ 1010 million. 

 Bilateral trade between Vietnam and Bangladesh has yet to reach its full potential. Additional investment is needed in Bangladesh's special economic zones and high-tech parks. 

Although Vietnam and Bangladesh do not have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), both nations have strongly emphasized trade and the need to foster the best possible environments for their respective business communities and entrepreneurs to pursue trade and investment opportunities, she mentioned. 

Shomi Kaiser said, "Our Agro and food processing industry are now gearing for exports, having met the domestic demand. Our RMG sector is the 2nd largest exporter to the globe after China. Among the world's top 10 green RMG factories, the top 8 are located in Bangladesh. Renewable energy and environmentally friendly clean technology are increasing in use and popularity."

She invited the Entrepreneur of Vietnam to invest in 100 Special Economic Zones, Hi-Tech parks, tourism.

 Among others, Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Nguyen Manh Cuong, Secretary General of FBCCI Md. Alamgir, Head of the International Wing Ambassador Mosud Mannan and other business dignitaries from both Bangladesh and Vietnam were present at the program.