The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT)’s Africa, West Asia and South Asia Market Department has urged Vietnamese businesses to expand their export activities to Bangladesh , a major market in the South Asian region.

According to the department, to increase exports to the market with nearly 90 percent Islamic consumers, Vietnamese businesses will be required to familiarise themselves with the consumers’ unique taste.

Agriculture employs more than 45 percent of the Bangladeshi workforce. The country’s main exports include garments and textiles, agricultural products, seafood and leather.

From 2008-2012, bilateral import-export turnover enjoyed a six-fold increase, from 65 million USD to 390 million USD.
Vietnam has maintained a constant trade surplus since the very beginning of the relationship.

In the first 11 months of last year, the country earned 446.4 million USD from exports to this market, a year-on-year surge of 42.3 percent.

Its best performing export commodities were fibre (33.6 million USD), garments and textiles (19.6 million USD), and machinery, equipment and spare parts (8.7 million USD).

Vietnam also sells clinker, mobile phones, leather and footwear to Bangladesh , while buying garment and textile materials, pharmaceutical products and seafood from this market.

Bangladesh is making every effort to encourage more foreign investment by keeping labour costs amongst the region’s cheapest, protecting its low land rental rates, and introducing a range of investment incentives.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese businesses have faced tough competition from their Bangladeshi counterpart thanks largely to preferential European Union policies for products made in Bangladesh .

However, Vietnamese businesses can take advantage of these mechanisms, seizing investment and production opportunities in Bangladesh to boost their exports to the EU.

Vietnamese enterprises should also invest in Bangladeshi agricultural and mechanical engineering, and industries that serve agriculture, said the Africa, West Asia and South Asia Market Department.

Vietnam and Bangladesh officially established their diplomatic ties in 1973. While Bangladesh opened an embassy in Hanoi in 1993, Vietnam waited ten years to inaugurate its own embassy in Dhaka .

The two countries’ Joint Committee for Economic, Cultural, Scientific and Technological Cooperation conducted its first session in Hanoi in 2006. Dhaka hosted the second session in 2013.

Both nations have signed 16 agreements and protocols governing diplomatic, economic, trade and investment cooperation.-VNA