Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh and Bangladeshi Minister of Food Advocate Md Quamrul Islam have signed a document extending the two countries’ memorandum of understanding (MoU) on rice trade that will allow Vietnam to sell up 1 million tonnes of rice to Bangladesh each year.
The MoU, inked on May 23 in Hanoi during the Bangladeshi official’s visit, will last five years to 2022. The provision of rice will depend on Bangladesh’s yearly demand.
It took Vietnam and Bangladesh only two weeks to discuss and reach the deal.
Right after sealing the deal, the Bangladeshi side wanted to buy 250,000-300,000 tonnes of 5% broken rice immediately and a total of 500,000 tonnes by the end of 2017.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Minister Anh spoke highly of Minister Quamrul Islam’s visit, expressing his hope that it will help connect businesses and strengthen bilateral partnership and friendship between the two countries.
The MoU was signed for the first time on April 18, 2011 in Hanoi and expired on December 31, 2013. On January 2, 2014, the two sides re-signed the deal that was valid until December 31, 2016.
In 2011 and 2012, Vietnam shipped over 300,000 tonnes of rice to Bangladesh. As Bangladesh was then able to produce enough rice, it ceased the import of Vietnamese rice.
However, in two recent years, Bangladesh faced consecutive natural disasters that have affected its crops and resulted in a shortage of rice for domestic consumption.
On the day, Minister Tran Tuan Anh and Minister Quamrul Islam also discussed measures to enhance their coordination in the future to improve bilateral economic, trade and industrial cooperation, especially in the trading of rice.