Kunming (Yunnan), June 9 (UNB) – China has said its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has brought new opportunities for Bangladesh and other countries in South and Southeast Asia.
“We’re making every effort to speed up and make the region a pivot of China’s opening up to South and Southeast Asia,” says Tian Huqing, Deputy Director of the Information Office of Yunnan Provincial People’s Government.
He made the remarks while welcoming foreign journalists at a hotel here on Sunday evening ahead of the second China-South Asia Cooperation Forum that will be held on Monday.
Journalists from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nepal, the Maldives and Indonesia were present.
Prime Minister’s International Affairs Adviser Dr Gowher Rizvi has recently said the BRI, launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping, would help Bangladesh achieve its development goals showing the path where Bangladesh wants to go.
“So, we need not to worry. I want to emphasise very clearly — this is not a zero-sum game, it’s a positive-sum game. We can benefit from all various initiatives,” he said ruling out any conflict with any country or other regional initiatives which are already in place.
The foreign affairs expert made it clear that Bangladesh’s support and participation in the BRI does not exclude the country from participating in other initiatives in the region, and will have no conflict with any country.
Huqing said Yunnan has a long history of friendship and cooperation with Southeast Asian and South Asian countries.
He said currently Yunnan is actively expanding new dimensions of cooperation in various fields of the Belt and Road Initiative, such as policy, communication, infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation, financing and people-to-people communication.
“Media is not only an important platform for people-to-people exchanges but also an important channel for the integration and mutual learning of human civilizations,” said the official.
He said media has always been an important carrier for promoting peace and friendship.
Huqing said since the first “South Asia and Southeast Asia Mainstream Media Tour in Yunnan” launched in 2010, friendly interactions and exchanges between news agencies and media from Yunnan and other countries have become increasingly frequent.
“A great progress has been achieved,” he said adding that cooperation and friendly exchanges among the media from South and Southeast Asian countries have been entrusted with new missions with the smooth implementation of the BRI.
From the shared vision of win-win cooperation, the official said, media programmes will definitely be more dazzling and taken on a “brand-new” meaning.
He said the joint efforts will make greater contributions to increase friendship between Yunnan and the peoples of South and Southeast Asian countries, deepening economic cooperation and people-to-people exchanges.
China remains the largest trading partner to Bangladesh, while in 2018, Bangladesh became the 2nd largest trading partner to China in South Asia, and the biggest market for engineering contracts signed, according to Chinese Embassy in Dhaka.
The bilateral trade reached US$ 18.74 billion, up by 16.8 percent year on year.