Xi unveils over US$ 24bn investment in Bangladesh | Greenwatch Dhaka | The leading online daily of Bangladesh

Xi unveils over US$ 24bn investment in Bangladesh


Dhaka – Bangladesh and China on Friday signed loans and investment deals worth over US$ 24 billion with Chinese President Xi Jinping saying the Bangladesh-China relations are now at ‘new historical’ turning point and heading towards a ‘promising future’.
The Beijing funds that will come as loans will be used in major infrastructure projects such as roads, railways, special economic zone and dedicated industrial park and other areas, a highly placed source said.
However, when asked whether the figure is US $ 20 or US $ 30 billion, former commerce minister and ruling party MP Faruk Khan told UNB on Friday night that it is around US$ 30 billion.Global powers, including the USA and India, are watching the historic development in Bangladesh-China relations with much interest.
Bangladesh and China, after official talks between Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, signed 27 MoUs and agreements, including ones on boosting cooperation in counter-terrorism and infrastructure development and energy cooperation.
Of the signed documents, 15 were government-to-government MoUs and deals, while 12 loans and mutual deals.
Chinese President Xi Jinping who arrived here earlier in the morning on a historic 22-hour state visit and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina witnessed the signing of the MoUs and agreements at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
They also jointly unveiled, inaugurated and laid foundation stones of six projects, including inauguration of works on multi-lane tunnel beneath the KarnaphuliRiver in Chittagong from the PMO.
The two leaders inaugurated Shahjalal Fertilizer Company Limited, laid the foundation stones of Bangladesh IV Tier National Data Center, Payra 1320 MW Thermal Power Plant, Chittagong 1320 MW Thermal Power Plant, andunveiled Confucius Institute at DhakaUniversity.
The cooperation deals and MoUs signed by both sides also include on belt and road initiative, addressing climate change, power and renewable energy cooperation, information Silk Road, cooperation on information technology.
“China-Bangladesh cooperation will deliver more fruits for the people of the two countries, and will contribute to peace and stability and development in the region,” Xi Jinping after official talks with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and signing of 27 MoUs and agreement between the two countries at the Prime Minister’s Office.
Xi said they agreed to elevate China-Bangladesh relationship from a ‘Closer Comprehensive Partnership of Cooperation’ to a ‘Strategic Partnership of Cooperation’.
Both sides also agreed to increase high-level exchanges and strategic communication so that the bilateral relations move ahead at even a higher level, he said.
Terming his meeting with Prime Minister Hasina ‘warm and productive’, the Chinese President said they reached agreements on a number of important issues.
“We’ve agreed to jointly advance road and belt initiative,” Xi said adding that they also agreed to launch a joint feasibility study on China-Bangladesh FTA (Free Trade Agreement) to strengthen trade and investment cooperation.
The Chinese President laid emphasis on enhancing practical cooperation in key areas such as infrastructure, production capacity, energy and power, transportation, ICT, and agriculture.
He said China will continue to do its best in providing capital, technical and human resources to carry out close cooperation on the projects to support economic and social development of Bangladesh.
The two countries also agreed to designate the year 2017 as the year of ‘exchange and friendship’ between Bangladesh and China during which colorful events will be held to carry forward the friendship.
They also laid emphasis on institutionalising cooperation on maritime affairs, counter-terrorism, advance BCIM Economic Corridor and increase communication and coordination on international and regional issues.
“China is ready to work with Bangladesh as friends and partners with trust and support to each other,” said the Chinese President.
Prime Minister Hasina said, “Today, we’ve elevated our ‘Closer Comprehensive Partnership of Cooperation’ to a ‘Strategic Partnership for Cooperation’ and under this strategic partnership, we’ve agreed to work towards socio-economic advancement of the peoples of our two countries.”
She said they reached a consensus on cooperation in key areas such as trade and investment, infrastructure, industry, power, and energy, information and communication technology and agriculture.
They witnessed the signing of 27 agreements and MoUs of cooperation that cover, among others, trade, and investment, blue economy, BCIM-EC, roads, and bridges, railways, power, maritime, ICT, Industrial production, capacity building and skill development.
Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque said this time some new areas have been explored, especially the big breakthrough in the ICT sector, with discussions on framework agreement.
He said China indicated that it would provide investment in the RMG and Jute sectors while a framework agreement was signed between the two countries to enhance production capacity of Bangladesh in various sectors.
He said China will make a big investment in the ICT sector which will help Bangladesh materialise its goal of establishing ‘Digital Bangladesh’ through ensuring digital connectivity both within the country and global connectivity.
Asked about the financial involvement of the signed agreements and MoUs, the Foreign Secretary declined to make any comment.
Responding to another question, he said both countries will help each other on maritime matters.
Shahidul also mentioned that both the leaders agreed to work together in combating militancy and terrorism. “In capacity building, information exchange and exchange of good practice, an MoU was also signed,” he said.


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