Bangladesh, Vietnam hold second Consultations

Flags of Bangladesh and Vietnam

The second Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) between Bangladesh and Vietnam was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Dhaka on Sunday, BSS reports.

Foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen led the Bangladesh delegation while a nine-member Vietnamese delegation was led by the deputy foreign minister of Vietnam Do Hung Viet, read a foreign ministry press release.

The meeting discussed various matters of the bilateral relations, including cooperation in the areas of trade and commerce, investment, energy, halal trade, tourism and culture, education, health, defence and security, agriculture, fisheries and livestock, ICT and telecommunication and direct air link between the two countries.

They also exchanged views on issues of mutual interests in the regional and international arena. Both the sides expressed optimism that the FOC, held after a hiatus of almost six years, would contribute significantly to adding further impetus and momentum to the existing bilateral engagements.

Both sides expressed satisfaction at the current level of bilateral cooperation and stressed on further deepening the collaborations through practical utilisation of the available complementarities.

The FOC agreed to explore possibilities of concluding a bilateral FTA in order to add further substance to the steadily increasing bilateral trade and economic relations between the two regional countries, particularly in context of the LDC graduation of Bangladesh.

Highlighting the lucrative incentives and facilities offered by Bangladesh for the foreign direct investment, foreign secretary encouraged the Vietnamese business community and entrepreneurs to avail the opportunities, particularly in the economic zones of Bangladesh, for mutual benefit.

The two sides stressed the importance of maintaining the momentum through regular exchange of high level visits and agreed to organise the Joint Trade Commission Meeting in Dhaka this year.

Bangladesh also proposed formation of the Joint Commission at the Foreign Ministers’ level for comprehensive cooperation.

Both sides stressed the importance of direct air links for facilitating trade, commerce and investment and for accelerating tourism.

Both Dhaka and Hanoi agreed to explore the possibilities for initiating direct flights at the earliest.

Foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen requested Vietnam to play a more pro-active role bilaterally and within the ASEAN framework for an expeditious repatriation of the Rohingya people from Bangladesh to their homeland in Myanmar. He also sought an expeditious inclusion of Bangladesh as a Sectoral Dialogue Partner of ASEAN.

Both head of delegations recalled with gratitude the historic event of establishment of diplomatic ties between two countries in 1973.

As this year marks the golden jubilee of diplomatic ties between the two friendly countries, the meeting appreciates the joint celebration of the event with commemorative programmes in Dhaka and Hanoi.

The both sides welcomed regular dialogue and meetings of bilateral mechanisms.

The head of delegations hoped that this Second FOC would help inject further vigour and momentum into the existing excellent bilateral relations for making it more collaborative and constructive and fruitful.

The next FOC will be held in Vietnam on a mutually convenient date.