International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) – Bangladesh, The world business organizationorganized jointly with The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce & Industry (VCCI) a 3-day Workshop on “International Trade Finance, ADR, Logistics and Business Development” in Hanoi, Vietnam on 21-23 April 2016. 

While inaugurating the workshop ICC Bangladesh President Mahbubur Rahman said that Vietnam export to Bangladesh was around US$570 million, as against Bangladesh’s export only around US$33 million in 2015. Bangladesh is recognized as an investment-friendly country as it offers the most liberal investment opportunities in South Asia, featuring 100 percent foreign equity with unrestricted exit policy; easy remittance of royalty; repatriation of profits; and protection of foreign investments. Bangladesh also offers Export Processing Zones for foreign investors and Specialize Economic Zones for various countries interested in Bangladesh, Mr. Rahman added. 

ICC Bangladesh President also referred to a recent poll carried out by Gallup, the Washington DC-based opinion pollster, where Bangladesh with 78 points has been mentioned as one of the safest countries of the world. The report said Singapore with 89 points is the safest country in the world followed by Uzbekistan (88) and Hong Kong (87). So, there are enormous opportunities in Bangladesh for all investors including Vietnam. He also thanked to VCCI Executive Vice President, Secretary General & Director General of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and all the delegates for joining the inaugural ceremony and for their unqualified support and co-operation in organizing the ICC Workshop a successful one. 

VCCI Vice Chairman Mr. Hoang Quang Phong in his welcome address said that international payments and logistics services played critical roles in global economic integration to reduce the risk of International commerce. Of these the use of letter of credit (L/C) was the most prominent and widely applied for various sectors in global trade. Developing trade finance products and logistics services was of pressing importance now since bilateral trade between Vietnam and South Asian countries saw a drop last year.

Ambassador of Bangladesh to Vietnam H. E. Mr. Md. Shahab Ullah said that the two–way trade drop was from $758 million in 2014 to $600 million last year. Mentioning about large untapped potential, the Bangladesh Ambassador expected more Vietnamese firms to enter Bangladesh to seek business opportunities and the two countries would join hands to simplify the banking procedures for frequent trade facilitation. 

Mr. Vu Quand Minh, Director of the Economic Department of the Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the trade framework must be improved to meet the co-operation between the two countries. Mr. Minh also said that with an advantageous sea line for logistics services, two-way trade was expected to reach $1 billion this year. 

Mr. Vincent O’Brien from Ireland, a highly experienced practitioner of International Trade Finance and a long standing member of the ICC Banking Commission Pairs was the main speaker at the Workshop. The Workshop moderated by ICC Bangladesh Banking Commission Chairman and  CEO of Bangladesh International Arbitration Centre (BIAC) Muhammad A. (Rumee) Ali was also addressed by  Managing Director & CEO of  Mutual Trust Bank Limited Anis A. Khan,; Economic Affairs Officer, UN-ESCAP Dr. Masato Abe, Mr. Qu. Pengcheng, Senior Advisor China and South East Asia,  International Road Transport Union, Mr. Maxime De Guillebon, Head of Transaction Banking of Standard Chartered Bank, Hanoi, Mr. Phan Trong Dat, Deputy Secretary General of VIAC and Barrister Nabil Ahsan, Associate of AF Hassan Ariff & Associates. 

ICC Bangladesh President Mahbubur Rahman led a Bangladesh Business Delegation comprised of ICC Bangladesh Executive Board Members R. Maksud Khan; Mahbub Jamil; Aftab ul Islam; Kutubuddin Ahmed; Former President of DCCI & Managing Director of S.S Shipping Ltd Mohammad Shahjahan Khan and ICCB Secretary General Ataur Rahman. 

The Bangladesh Business Delegation had business meetings with Vietnam Business Delegation led by VCCI Secretary General Dr. Pham Thi Thu Hang and participated by Tran Huu Huynh, President of VIAC; Pham Quang Thinh, Deputy Director of International Relations Division; Mr. Hoang Quang Phong, Vice President of VCCI, Mr. Nguyen Thanh Tan, Director General –South Asia, South Pacific Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

Some 77 bankers from 21 Banks including Bangladesh Bank and 20 commercial banks, officials from Energy Ministry, Petro Bangla, National Board of Revenue (NBR), Bangladesh Navy & Law Firm and 90 bankers and businesses of Vietnam attended the workshop. ICC Bangladesh General Manager Ajay Bihari Saha & Asstt. Manager Md. Shakayet Hossain and BIAC Sr. Counsel Afrin Ahmed also attended the Event.