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China proposes Belt and Road mechanism for Bangladesh

Published : Wednesday, 12 September, 2018 at 12:00 AM  Count : 139

The Chinese ambassador in Dhaka has proposed to establish "China-Bangladesh Communi-cation, Cooperation and Coordination" mechanism for enterprises under the "belt and road" initiative or BRI. Zhang Zuo also put forward several suggestions while speaking at a discussion in Dhaka on Tuesday. He first suggested building a mechanism of "high efficiency and practicality". For this end, he proposed the Chinese Embassy and the industries ministry as
the leading authorities with Minister Amir Hossain Amu and he is the 'chief director' from each side.
Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Industries Shah Haq and Deputy Chief of Mission of the Chinese Embassy Chen Wei would be the coordinators.

The ambassador spoke at a discussion with Chinese businesses and Bangladesh government officials. SME Foundation Managing Director Md Safiqul Islam, Additional Secretary Haq, President of the Overseas Chinese Association Zhuang Lifeng and President of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce Lin Weiqiang were present. After Chinese President Xi Jinping put forward the BRI in 2013, 103 countries and international organisations have signed cooperation agreements with China. People from relevant countries are having an "increasing sense of gain", Zuo said. "A brighter prospect of the BRI is being carved out with the interconnected and simultaneous development of multiple "roads of dreams", including the Blue Economy Corridor, the Sky Silk Road and the Digital Silk Road."

During the state visit of President Xi to Bangladesh in 2016, Zuo said the bilateral relationship with Bangladesh was elevated to 'Strategic Partnership of Cooperation', which started a new chapter in the BRI. "In 2017, our bilateral trade value reached $16 billion, 5.8 per cent higher than last year, with China remaining the number 1 trade partner to Bangladesh.

"The engineering contracts signed between Bangladesh and Chinese companies reached $10.4 billion, second in the South Asian region," he said. In the first half of this year, our bilateral trade value stands at 9.35 billion dollars, with a growth rate of 17.6 percent year on year; the contracts signed are worth 3.57 billion dollars, a growth rate of 8.6 percent year-on-year and number 1 in South Asia. Chinese investments stand at 85.94 million dollars, and 380 million in terms of stock.

"The people of China and Bangladesh have jointly written down a splendid chapter of common development and strong complementarities with mutual respect and equality," the ambassador said. He said he met the industries minister on August 1 and had a detailed discussion on establishing the China-Bangladesh cooperation and coordination mechanism for industry enterprises, and reached a wide range of consensus. He said the Overseas Chinese Association and its members, as well as the enterprises under the Ministry of Industries of Bangladesh, would be the members of the mechanism. "I recommend regular meetings to be held under this mechanism to discuss about important issues of common concerns."

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