A document extending the two countries’ memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the rice trade was signed by Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh and Bangladeshi Minister of Food Advocate Md Quamrul Islam on May 23, during the latter’s visit to Vietnam.
The MoU, which will last five years to 2022, stipulates that the provision of rice will depend on Bangladesh’s annual demand.
According to a report from the Vietnam News Agency, immediately after sealing the deal the Bangladeshi side wanted to purchase 250,000-300,000 tonnes of 5 per cent broken rice and a total of 500,000 tonnes by the end of this year.
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, which 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 its imports of Vietnamese rice.
In the last two years, however, Bangladesh has experienced natural disasters that affected its crop and resulted in a shortage of rice for domestic consumption.