Vietnam wants to invest in telecom, agriculture, IT, textile, oil and gas, infrastructure sectors of Bangladesh due the country's low-cost production facilities and large market, said Tran Dai Quang, president of the Southeast Asian nation.
“There is a lot of opportunity for investment given the current size of the economy of Bangladesh,” he said at the 'Vietnam-Bangladesh Business Forum', organised yesterday by the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
Tran went to recommend the Bangladesh government to reform the policies for attracting more foreign investment.
At present, Vietnam has $320 billion of foreign investment due to its improved infrastructures, liberal economic policies and its 6.5 percent to 7 percent growth over the last few years.
He suggested Bangladesh for more innovation, higher productivity, adoption of green technologies, expansion of domestic markets, greater transparency and enhanced competitiveness for attracting higher foreign investment.
Vietnam is also keen on taking the bilateral trade between the two countries to $1 billion by the end of this year and to $2 billion by 2020, he said.
At present, bilateral trade between the two countries is heavily tilted towards Vietnam. In fiscal 2016-17, Bangladesh imported goods worth $417 million and exported goods worth $66.44 million, according to data from the FBCCI.
“We would like to encourage bilateral trade in rice, agricultural products, textile and food processing.”
Tran also commended Bangladesh on its poverty reduction efforts.
“Actually, I am impressed with Bangladesh's enormous social and economic development. Bangladesh is a role model in the world in poverty reduction,” he added.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said Bangladesh is already a lower middle-income country and very soon the country would graduate to the middle-income bracket.
The minister offered a special economic zone for Vietnamese investors as the government has been developing 100 such zones across the country for both local and foreign entrepreneurs.
The businessmen of both the countries agreed to form a Bangladesh Vietnam Business Council to focus on sectors and modalities to promote trade and investment between the two countries, said Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, president of FBCCI.
At the business forum, three investment agreements were signed in the presence of Tran.
In the first agreement, TBS Group, which counts global brands like Coach, Tory Burch, Skechers and Decathlon as its long-term customers, agreed to invest $100 million in Bangladesh's leather and leathergoods sector.
The agreement was signed between Saiful Islam, president of Leathergoods and Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association of Bangladesh, and Diep Thanh Kiet, vice-chairman of Vietnam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association.
The other two agreements involve setting up two joint venture seafood processing companies in Bangladesh.
“We will seek technologies on shrimp farming from the Vietnamese companies,” said Belayet Hossain, vice-president of the Bangladesh Frozen Foods Exporters Association, after signing the agreements.
Vietnam has been performing very well on the export of vannamei variety of shrimp.
The local fish farmers will also cultivate the vannamei variety of shrimps as this is more profitable than the black tiger and fresh water shrimps that they currently farm.