The Ministry of Industry and Tradeâ€™s (MoIT) Africa, West Asia, and South Asia Market Department considers Bangladesh a market rich in potential, as Vietnamâ€™s 2013 earnings from exports to Bangladesh increased to 42.3%, exceeding US$446 million.
Increasing exports will require Vietnamese businesses to familiarise themselves with the unique demands of Islamic consumers as an estimated 89.5% of Bangladeshi citizens identify as Muslim
Vietnam and Bangladesh officially established diplomatic and economic and trade ties in 1993. While Bangladesh opened an embassy in Hanoi during the same year, Vietnam waited ten years to inaugurate its own embassy in Dhaka.
The Joint Committee for Economic, Cultural, Scientific, and Technological Cooperation conducted its first Hanoi session in 2006. Dhaka hosted the second session in 2013.
Both nations have signed 16 agreements and protocols governing diplomatic, economic, trade, and investment cooperation.
Vietnamâ€™s Bangladeshi export turnover increased 750% between 2008 to 2012â€”from US$47 million to US$354 million.
The economic and trade relationships linking Vietnam and Bangladesh have seen vigorous developments in recent years.
Bilateral import-export increased six-fold from US$65 million in 2008 to US$390 million in 2012. Vietnam has maintained a constant trade surplus from the very beginning of the relationship.
Statistics from the General Department of Vietnam Customs cited earlier speak to the impressive growth of Vietnamâ€™s Bangladeshi export earnings in 2013.
Itâ€™s best performing export commodities were fibre (US$33.6 million), garments and textiles (US$16.9 million), and machinery, equipment, and spare parts (US$8.7 million).
Vietnamâ€™s main Bangladeshi imports are garment and textile materials, pharmaceutical products, and seafood.
Despite their similar export production structures, the Africa, West Asia, and South Asian Market Department believe Vietnam and Bangladesh have much to offer in the way of mutual support.
Bangladesh is making every effort to encourage more foreign investment by keeping labour costs amongst the regionâ€™s cheapest, protecting its low land rental rates, and introducing a range of investment incentives.
Vietnamese businesses have faced tough competition from their Bangladeshi counter parts thanks largely to preferential European Union policies.
But Vietnamese businesses can take advantage of these mechanisms, seizing investment and production opportunities in Bangladesh to boost their EU exports.
Vietnamese enterprises should also investigate potentially lucrative openings in Bangladeshi agriculture, mechanical engineering, and industry.
However, MoIT is awaiting further investigations to fully tap the opportunities presented by its 62 million consumers.
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