NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (R) shakes hands with Speaker of the Parliament of Bangladesh Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in Hanoi on July 20 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Vietnamese National Assembly (NA) supports and creates favourable legal conditions for the promotion of cooperation between Vietnam and Bangladesh, said NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.

The top legislator made the statement during her talks with Speaker of the Parliament of Bangladesh Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in Hanoi on July 20, who is in Vietnam for an official visit from July 20-24.

Speaking highly of Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury’s visit, which is also the first visit by a Bangladeshi Parliament Speaker since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1973, NA Chairwoman Ngan said she believes that the trip will contribute to strengthening the traditional friendship and multi-faceted cooperation between the two countries’ people and opening up a new page for the bilateral legislative ties.

Host and guest noted with satisfaction the continuous development of the bilateral relationship over the past 44 years with enhanced political ties and mutual trust, which have been reflected through the exchange of high-level visits and meetings, especially the visits to Vietnam by Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2012 and President Abdul Hamid in 2015.

Vietnam always attaches importance to and wishes to further develop the traditional friendship and fruitful cooperation with Bangladesh, NA Chairwoman Ngan said, stressing that the two countries have stood side by side and supported each other in national construction and defence as well as economic development.

She suggested the two sides continue their coordination and mutual support at regional and international forums, and called for Bangladesh to back Vietnam’s candidacy for a UN Security Council seat during 2020-2021 and the UNESCO General Director for the 2017-2022 tenure.

The Vietnamese chief legislator was delighted at the rapid pace of economic and trade ties between the two countries with bilateral trade revenue increasing by 2.5 times during the 2010-2014 period. The number expanded by 3.1 percent in 2016 as compared with 2015 to hit 608 million USD.

Many Vietnamese products like rice, garments-textiles, footwear and electronic products have become popular in Bangladesh. The two countries signed an agreement on investment encouragement and protection on May 18, 2005.

Vietnam encourages and welcomes joint efforts to expand the cooperation in other areas like national defence, fishery, education-training, culture and tourism, NA Chairwoman Ngan said.

She emphasised the two countries’ signing of an extended memorandum of understanding on rice trading for 2017-2022 last May, under which Bangladesh will import one million tonne of rice each year from Vietnam.

For her part, the Bangladeshi Speaker held that both Vietnam and Bangladesh have been affected by adverse impacts of climate change and sea level rise, and have experience in gender equality and poverty reduction.

The two countries should step up their cooperation and experience exchange, and support each other in these realms.

The Speaker briefed her host on Bangladesh’s socio-economic achievements since it gained independence in 1971, citing woman empowerment, decreased maternal and child fatality rates, accomplishments of many millennium development goals and the development of clean, green and renewable energies, and aquatic production, which, she said, Vietnam and Bangladesh should cooperate in future.

Host and guest agreed that to raise the bilateral trade to 1 billion USD as consented by Vietnamese and Bangladeshi leaders, the two countries should forge collaboration in trade and investment and create favourable conditions for their businesses to take part in fairs, exhibitions and seminars organised in the respective countries.

Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury used the occasion to call on Vietnam to pay more heed to investing in Bangladesh which has a population of about 160 million and other favourable conditions.

On cooperation between the two parliaments, NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan showed her delight at fruitful outcomes of the two sides in both bilateral and multilateral aspects.

She thanked her Bangladeshi counterpart for sending a delegation to the 132nd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union that Vietnam hosted in 2015, as well as Bangladesh’s warm welcome for the Vietnamese delegation during the 136th Assembly of the IPU earlier this year.

The two NA leaders agreed to continue high-level delegation exchanges and meetings between the two NAs to share experience in law-building and supervise the implementation of agreements between the two countries, thus contributing to fostering friendship and all-round cooperation.

The two sides will consider the formation of two friendship parliamentarian groups to act as a bridge connecting legislators of both sides and encouraging the development of partnership in economy and people-to-people contacts.

They will continue supporting each other at the international and regional inter-parliamentarian unions in issues of shared concern, while assigning the Committees for External Affairs and relevant agencies to work together towards the signing of a specific cooperation mechanism aiming to make collaboration between the two parliaments more effective and practical.

At the talks, the two NA leaders also shared views on regional and international issues of common concern. Ngan congratulated Bangladesh on winning the position of the Chair of the Executive Council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons for the 2017-2018 tenure.

The two leaders also concurred to continue working closely at multilateral forums of which the two countries are members.

The Bangladeshi top legislator invited her Vietnamese counterpart to visit Bangladesh soon and received Ngan’s acceptance.

Earlier the same day, the Bangladeshi Parliament Speaker paid tribute to late President Ho Chi Minh at his mausoleum and laid flowers at the Monument for Heroic Martyrs in Hanoi.

In the evening the same day, NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan hosted a banquet for the Bangladeshi top legislator and the Bangladesh parliament delegation.-VNA