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China offers to invest more in Bangladesh

Publication Date : 22-10-2012


China wants to increase its investment in Bangladesh, especially in energy, agriculture and infrastructure development, a high-level Chinese delegation told Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during a meeting yesterday.

Li Changchun, a member of the standing committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, led the delegation.

After the meeting, Dhaka and Beijing signed three instruments -- an agreement, one MoU and a framework accord -- to boost cooperation in economic, power and financial assistance.

Li offered Chinese assistance in the expansion of the Pagla Water Treatment Plant in Narayanganj during the meeting, PM's Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad told journalists at the Prime Minister's Office.

The premier welcomed the Chinese offer, and urged Beijing to import more from Bangladesh to bring about a balance in bilateral trade, Azad said.

Hasina offered land in the special economic zones if the Chinese government relocate some of their industries to Bangladesh, reports news agency UNB.

The Chinese leader offered to double the number of scholarships for Bangladeshi students from the current 80 for higher studies.

Li said his government would send language experts and academic materials for Bangladeshi students keen to learn the Chinese language.

Terming the existing relations between the Awami League and the CPC excellent, he called for more political and cultural exchanges between the two countries.

The PM's press secretary said Li had praised the successes of the government under the able leadership of Hasina.

In response, Hasina described China's fast growing economy as a role model for the world. She thanked China for its assistance to Bangladesh.

The premier said the historic visits of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to China in 1953 and 1957 had laid the foundations of bilateral relations between Beijing and Dhaka.

She reiterated Bangladesh's steadfast support to the one-China policy.

At the meeting, the premier highlighted various successes of her government in different sectors, including education and healthcare services.

The Chinese delegation included Minister for International Department of CPC Central Committee Wang Jiarui, Education Minister Yuan Guiren, Cultural Affairs Minister Cai Wu, Minister for State Administration of Radio, Film and Television Cai Fuchao, Minister for General Administration of Press and Publication Liu Binjie and Vice Minister of Commerce Jiang Zengwei.

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Enamul Haq, Ambassador at Large M. Ziauddin, among others, were present at the meeting.

Later, the Chinese delegation held a meeting with Foreign Minister Dipu Moni at the state guest house Jamuna, reports our diplomatic correspondent.

Dipu Moni requested China for early implementation of Kunming Initiative and sought Chinese support for construction of multi-lane tunnel under the river Karnaphuli, Sonadia deep-sea port and Dohazari-Cox Bazar railway link.

At a meeting with a delegation of main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) at Sonargaon Hotel, Li said his government would take an initiative to establish direct rail and road links between Chittagong and Kunming.

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia led the eight-member delegation.

Earlier in the day, the Chinese delegation met President Zillur Rahman at Bangabhaban in the capital.

During the meeting, the president sought increased Chinese support for energy, information technology and infrastructure development.

Deals signed

The agreement on economic and technical cooperation was signed by Economic Relations Division Secretary Iqbal Mahmood and Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Jiang Zengwei.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) on strengthening cooperation in the field of electricity was signed between the power, energy and mineral resources ministry of Bangladesh and commerce ministry of China.

Power Division Secretary M. Abul Kalam Azad and Chinese Vice Minister Jiang Zengwei signed the MoU on behalf of their respective sides.

A framework agreement on concessional loans to be provided by China to Bangladesh was signed by Iqbal Mahmood and Jiang Zengwei.

Under the framework agreement, China will provide US$226 million to implement the Pagla Water Treatment Plant project of Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority.


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