BD deserves proper share from China’s investment, import: Envoy

07 March 2014

UNB, Dhaka :
Chinese Ambassador in Dhaka Li Jun on Thursday said Bangladesh deserves a 'proper share' from China's huge 'outbound investment' and its import in the coming years which will help reduce the prevailing trade gap between the two countries.
"China's outbound investment will reach US$ 500 billion while import some US$ 10 trillion in the coming five years. What I'm interested most and working hard for is that Bangladesh deserves to have a proper share," said the Chinese diplomat.
The Chinese diplomat came up with the observations during his interactions with Diplomatic Correspondents at the Jatiya Press Club while explaining why Bangladesh matters to China, what is happening in China and what is the current state and prospects of bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
Li Jun said two engines - in bilateral level and regional level - will drive Bangladesh-China cooperation to an 'ever-growing new height' in the years to come.
"At bilateral level, two waves will certainly happen. One is Chinese investment and the other wave is infrastructure construction cooperation," said the Chinese envoy.
At the regional level, Li Jun mentioned the idea of establishing Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar-Economic Corridor (BCIM-EC) which, he thinks, will bring great opportunities of cooperation between the two countries.
He said China is now restructuring its economy and the labour-intensive industries will be relocated. "I think, Bangladesh is the best destination as it has massive good quality labour forces and investment friendly policy."
Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (Dcab) arranged the event - 'Dcab Talks' - with its President Mainul Alam in the chair. Dcab General Secretary Angur Nahar Monty was also present.
The bilateral trade volume between the two countries reached US$ 10.3 billion last year with a big deficit for Bangladesh.
"We need to treat the trade gap seriously. We should take some concrete efforts to reduce trade imbalance. Try to attract more Chinese investment in Bangladesh. This will help reduce trade imbalance," said the Chinese envoy.
He said the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from China doubled last year reaching nearly US$ 1 billion. "So far, as I know, at the moment, several more big investment projects are in the process of negotiation."
Li Jun said grants and soft loans from Chinese side are also important parts of bilateral cooperation. "…we received a set of 14 projects for US$ 8.6 billion soft loans. We're now working on that."
The Chinese envoy said the idea of establishing BCIM-EC found a firm-footing when the first official level joint working group meeting in Kunming last December agreed on cooperation in transportation infrastructure, investment, commerce and trade and other areas.
He said the next meeting of the officials will be held in Chittagong in June this year while the third one will be held in December in New Delhi.
"In the process of economic corridor building, we've great opportunities of cooperation, such as Sonadia Deep seaport, power plant construction, river tunnel," the envoy said adding that such cooperation will help turn Bangladesh's geographic advantages into economic competitiveness and the neighboring countries, including China will benefit.
The Chinese Ambassador said an exclusive EPZ (Export Processing Zone) should be given for China in order to have an easier access for the investors. He also proposed a study for a FTA (Free Trade Agreement) between the two countries.
Expressing his country's interest to build a deep seaport in Bangladesh, Li Jun said, "So far as I know, some Chinese companies showed their interest to take up the project. I do believe, Chinese companies have the ability to do such huge project."

Add Rate