China, the biggest trade partner with $15 billion exports to Bangladesh, wants to see the upcoming general elections “smooth and stable”.
The Chinese Embassy’s economic and commercial counsellor, Li Guang Jun, said his government wants to see a “peaceful transition of power” in Bangladesh as seen in China.
He responded to a question on Thursday when he said they have “so many Chinese and Chinese companies, and we are concerned about that”.
“We hope the election will be smooth and stable,” he said when his comment was sought about the upcoming elections and its impact on business ties with China.
The press briefing at the embassy was organised to publicise the first International Import Expo which will be held from Nov 5 to Nov 1O.
Jun said the expo would create a platform for countries to engage in international trade and share business opportunities with each other.
He said they invited Bangladesh and the export processing bureau has already showed their interest to join the expo.
“It’s a unique because it is focused on import,” he said.
With the two-way trade of $16 billion, China is the largest trading partner of Bangladesh. But Bangladesh’s exports amount to $1 billion.
The counsellor suggested Bangladesh to sign FTA with China to give the export a boost.
He said the FTA would cover investments also, apart from trade. “When Chinese companies will invest in Bangladesh, the export products will be diversified,” he said. “This will increase Bangladesh’s exports.”
Currently, China has investments worth $300 million in Bangladesh. With the latest investments in the power sector, the figure will go up manifold, Jun said. For example, in Payra, China is investing $2 billion.
Bangladesh will soon sign $2.6 billion loan deal with China’s EXIM Bank to finance the rail link over the Padma bridge.