Bangladesh and Vietnam on Monday signed three memorandums of understanding for bolstering cooperation in the fields of fisheries and livestock, industry and culture.
The instruments were inked after the official talks between visiting Vietnamese president Tran Dai Quang and Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina at the prime minister’s office in Dhaka in the morning.
The two leaders witnessed the signing of the MoUs.
The three instruments are: the MoU on the renewal of the MoU in the field of Fisheries and Livestock between Bangladesh and Vietnam signed on November 02, 2012, the MoU on machinery manufacturing cooperation between the Ministry of Industry of Bangladesh and the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam and the MoU on Cultural Exchange Programme between the Ministry of Cultural Affairs of Bangladesh and the Ministry of Culture and Sports and Tourism of Vietnam.
Minister of fisheries and livestock of Bangladesh Narayan Chandra Chanda and minister of agriculture and rural development of Vietnam Nguyen Xuan Ceuong signed the MoU on the renewal of the MoU in the field of fisheries and livestock between the two countries.
The MoU on machinery manufacturing cooperation between the ministry of industry of Bangladesh and the ministry of industry and trade of Vietnam was penned by industries secretary Mohammad Abdullah and Vietnamese vice minister of industry and trade Cao Quoc Hung.
Cultural affairs secretary Ibrahim Hossain Khan and deputy minister for culture, sports and tourism of Vietnam Dang Thi Bich Lien signed the MoU on Cultural Exchange Programme.
Bangladesh has sought Vietnam’s support for a peaceful solution to the Rohingya crisis as prime minister Sheikh Hasina held bilateral official talks with visiting Vietnamese president Tran Dai Quang saying the issue was threatening the region’s stability.
‘We have discussed the Rohingya crisis that threatens peace and stability of our region and I have sought Vietnam’s support for a peaceful solution to the problem,’ Sheikh Hasina said while speaking at a joint press statement with the Vietnam president after the talks at the prime minister’s office in Dhaka on Monday morning.
She said, ‘President Tran Dai Quang has expressed his support towards a viable and sustainable solution to the problem.’
In her statement, the Bangladesh premier said that they discussed entire gamut of the bilateral relations in a warm and cordial atmosphere and identified new areas of cooperation.
‘Besides cementing our political relations, major focus of our discussion was on enhancing trade, investment and technical cooperation,’ she said.
Sheikh Hasina said, ‘The two countries have agreed that the 2nd Foreign Office Consultation as well as the 2nd meeting of the Joint Committee on Trade will be held this year to steer bilateral cooperation initiatives. We are also happy that MoUs in areas of Fisheries and Livestock, Machinery Manufacturing and Cultural Exchange Programmes have been signed which will strengthen bilateral cooperation.’
The prime minister also referred to her government’s keenness to institutionalise the political, trade and economic partnerships with the ASEAN countries as well as to join the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation Forum.
In this connection, Sheikh Hasina mentioned that she sought Vietnam’s support for Bangladesh to become Sectoral Dialogue Partner of ASEAN and also for Dhaka’s aspiration to join the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation.
The prime minister said she conveyed to president Quang that Bangladesh believes in maintaining peace, stability, and the rule-based order for the seas and oceans, including safety and freedoms of navigation and over flight, in accordance with international laws.
‘We support peaceful settlement of all international disputes, including territorial and maritime disputes, in accordance with international laws, including the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea,’ she said.
The prime minister thanked president Tran Dai Quang for bringing a business delegation with him to boost trade and investment in between the countries.
‘We encourage entrepreneurs and businessmen of both Bangladesh and Vietnam to explore opportunities in our respective economies,’ she said.
Sheikh Hasina said as close neighbours, Bangladesh and Vietnam share common aspirations to promote peace and development.
‘Peoples of both the countries share similar customs, traditions and values,’ she said.
‘The struggle of Vietnamese against oppressive forces inspired Bangladesh in its War of Independence. As a student leader, I myself led and participated in the protest rallies against Vietnam War in late 60s. I can still recall the vivid memories of those days,’ she said.
Thanking President Quang for visiting Bangladesh, the premier hoped that his visit would go a long way in taking Bangladesh-Vietnam relations to new heights.
The Vietnamese president, in his statement, said that he and the Bangladesh prime minister held open and sincere talks on the bilateral ties as well as regional and international issues of mutual interests.
‘At the talks we reiterated maintaining traditional friendship between the two countries and expressed our delight at the encouraging progress in the bilateral relations,’ he said.
President Quang said that they had agreed on further strengthening the 45 years diplomatic ties and put emphasis on unlocking immense potentials of geographical location, natural bounties, youth population and huge market.
He said that the two sides had also agreed that they would find suitable measures to create breakthrough and add greater depth, substance and efficiency to their relations in keeping with people’s and leaders aspirations and benefits.
On political and diplomacy, he said, the two countries agreed to increase exchanges of delegations at the higher levels as well as bilateral meetings and contacts on the sidelines of multilateral conferences.
‘We also agreed to maximise effectiveness of bilateral cooperation mechanism including joint trade sub-committee and political consultation in order to share information and promote implementation of high-level agreement and strengthen cooperation at regional and international forums,’ he said.
The Vietnam president said, on defence and security cooperation, they agreed to explore cooperation on each other’s needs and capabilities, while immediate attention would be given to the areas of defence industry as well as to enhance cooperation in participation at the peace keeping operations.
‘Both sides are also ready to receive military cadets for language studies and specialised programmes,’ he added.
‘Both sides also agreed to increase exchange of information on crimes and terrorism to ensure security of both countries,’ he added.
On economic, trade and investment cooperation, the Vietnam president said both sides agreed to encourage and widen business activities, study and tap into each other’s potential and propose prospective measures to boost bilateral trade and two-way investments considering potentials and advantages.
On cooperation in the field of agriculture, livestock and fisheries, Quang said both the countries needed to work closely in mutual support and consider establishment of joint venture associations and production change.
On training, culture and tourism, he said, Hanoi would welcome Bangladesh to continue sending its officials to Vietnam for training, exchange their experience on public administration, economic development, agriculture, aquaculture and environmental management.
Quang said Vietnam highly values close cooperation between the National Academy of Public Administration, Vietnam and BPATC in Dhaka for providing training to officials of both the countries.
On South China Sea issue, he said, as members of the 1982 UNCLOS, the two sides agreed to work closely to ensure freedom of navigation and peaceful settlement of all international disputes including territorial and maritime disputes in accordance with the international law.
Quang said, they agreed to ask relevant ministries and agencies for effective implementation of the agreements that they signed and promote more fruitful and effective growth of Bangladesh -Vietnam relations after 45 years of diplomatic ties.
The Vietnamese president said they also agreed to continue to strengthen exchange of experience and support to each other for mutual prosperity.
On behalf of Vietnam, he extended wish for the state and the people of Bangladesh to have greater success in economy and social development as well as for prosperity of the nation.
Finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, industries minister Amir Hossain Amu, commerce minister Tofail Ahmed, agriculture minister Begum Matia Chowdhury, foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali, cultural affairs minister Asaduzzaman Noor, fisheries and livestock minister Narayan Chandra Chanda, state minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak, pm’s principal secretary Md Nojibur Rahman, principal coordinator on SDG at the PMO Md Abul Kalam Azad, foreign secretary Md Shahidul Haque and PM’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim, among others, aided the premier during the talks.
Later, the visiting Vietnamese president Tran Dai Quang paid tribute to the country’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by placing a wreath at his portrait in front of Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s grandson Rezwan Siddique Bobby welcomed the Vietnamese president at Bangabandhu Memorial Museum.
State minister for information and communication technology division Zunaid Ahmed Palak and concerned ministry officials, among others, accompanied him.
Later, the President penned a remark on the visitors’ book at the Bangabandhu Bhaban.
Earlier, Vietnamese President went to the National Mausoleum in Savar in the morning and paid tributes to the martyrs who made their supreme sacrifices during the War of Independence in 1971.
Liberation war minister AKM Mozammel Haque and housing and public works minister Mosharraf Hossain welcomed the Vietnamese president at the National Memorial.
Quang also signed a visitors’ book and planted a sapling there.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Foreign affairs