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Saturday, November 8, 2014, Kartik 24, 1421, Muharram 14, 1436 Hijr

BCIM-EC has potential for economic progress: President
Observer Online Desk
Publish Date : 2014-11-08,  Publish Time : 22:16,  View Count : 3
BEIJING: President Abdul Hamid on Saturday said Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIM-EC) has the potential to open up opportunities for social and economic progress for millions of poor and marginal communities and ethnicities of the region.

"In the recent times, we also see Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar working together at Track One level to shape up the BCIM-EC process . . . the wider connectivity that I underlined is what Bangladesh aspires to accomplish through BCIM-EC process," he said while addressing the Dialogue on Strengthening Connectivity Partnership as part of APEC CEO Summit at Fang Hua Hall here.

Besides, the host country China, nine heads of state and government including Pakistan, Myanmar, Cambodia, Mongolia, Laos and UNESCAP attended the dialogue.

President Abdul Hamid said for China, BCIM-EC will help revive the ancient southern Silk Road and for other countries, offer improved livelihood options and create pathways for sustainable development of an impoverished economic landscape.

"In other words, the physical linkages connect territories and communities. In the case of BCIM-EC, it has the potential to open up opportunities for social and economic progress for millions of poor and marginal communities and ethnicities," he added.

BCIM is an initiative conceptualized for significant gains through sub-regional economic cooperation within BCIM, he said.

Advocating for bottom-up view to development, the Bangladesh President said that in order to make physical connectivity truly beneficial and sustainable, there has to be accompanying visible and sustained improvement in the lives and livelihoods of majority at the bottom.

"We have countries that are LDCs, LLDCs and climate vulnerable. At the same time, opening up of economies and societies through economic integration naturally lead to re-alignment in the synergies and economics of manufacturing and distribution across borders," he added.

"Quite often, such reality raise apprehension for the lesser endowed countries . . . therefore, in the enterprise of development of connectivity and gradual integration of economic structures and processes, the realities, circumstances and needed support for the less developed countries must be taken into account," said Abdul Hamid.

"All enterprises would need to be planned and undertaken based on the principles of mutual respect and trust and mutual benefit and equitable sharing of mutual benefits," the president observed.

Bangladesh draws important lessons from China's growth story, the President said, adding, "We have always believed in and pursued open regionalism. We remain keen to connect our own ports and growth nodes to our own sub-region; and provide the natural gateway between the Far East and South-East Asia to South Asia and beyond."

"Bangladesh would take this opportunity to assure all of her sincere engagement in this enterprise. Let us therefore strive--individually and collectively-- for the common good," he appealed.

Mentioning that Bangladesh approaches 'connectivity' in a wider sense that it deserves, the President said, "We believe that connectivity needs to be viewed in an all-encompassing sense, we are to connect and create bridges for ideas, knowledge, culture, transportation by road-rail-air, technology, movement of people, goods, services and investment.

"There, creation of optimum level of physical connectivity can serve as an initial and necessary condition," the President added.


Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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