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Beijing to discuss ways to improve investment climate

WT24 Desk

Ways for improving trade and investment environment and addressing the ‘concerns’ of Chinese corporations operating in Bangladesh will come up in a broader way in the next meeting of Bangladesh and China on Monday, according to reports.

The Chinese side will raise seven specific issues, including negotiations on China-Bangladesh Free Trade Agreement and strengthening cooperation on major projects, in the meeting to be held in Dhaka, according to the meeting agenda obtained by UNB.

China will also discuss ways to strengthen Chinese assistance to Bangladesh, its future expansion, promotion of China-aid projects and cooperation on human resources.

Both sides will hold the 14th session of the Bangladesh-China Joint Commission on Economic and Trade Cooperation (JEC) on Monday with focus on specific issues relating to bilateral trade, economic assistance, investment and mutual cooperation.

Bangladesh and China will discuss ways to have further concrete measures to bolster bilateral trade, widen economic cooperation and boost investment flow, eying mutual benefits by reducing the bilateral trade imbalance.

Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Gao Yan will co-chair the 14th JEC meeting with her Bangladesh counterpart Economic Relations Division (ERD) Senior Secretary Mohammad Mejbahuddin, an ERD official told UNB.

Referring to the agenda proposed by the Chinese side, officials said China wants to review the implementation progress of economic and trade agreements agreed upon by the leaders of the two countries earlier. China will also discuss Chinese Economic and Industrial Zone in Chittgaong and Garment Industrial Park, the officials added.

Apart from evaluating the bilateral economic and trade relations, the Chinese side will also discuss economic development of China. The Bangladesh side will discuss ways to close the trade gap between the two countries and will highlight investment opportunities in Bangladesh.

Issues related to export and import, duty-free market access to China, Chinese government loans, ongoing and future projects, Preferential Buyers Credit (PBC), limited tender for projects under Chinese government loans will also be discussed in the JEC, ERD officials said.

The meeting will review the progress of implementation of the decisions of the last JEC meeting held at Kunming in China on June 4, 2014. Vice Minister of Commerce Gao Yan and ERD Senior Secretary Mohammad Mejbahuddin co-chaired the 13th Session of China-Bangladesh Trade and Economic Joint Committee in Kunming, Yunnan Province.

As the second biggest economy of the world, China is keen to share its experience and advanced technology with Bangladesh, to provide finance, technology and training personnel to Bangladesh without reservation to expedite industrialisation here, said a diplomatic source.

China is also willing to help improve the skill of the labour force in Bangladesh so as to create more jobs and strengthen the inner impetus of Bangladesh sustainable development, the source added.

China has provided numerous assistances to support Bangladesh’s economic and social progress, including the seven China-Bangladesh Friendship Bridges and Bangabandhu International Convention Center, ERD officials said.

Bangladesh and China have recently reached a consensus on the 8th China-Bangladesh Friendship Bridge and China-Bangladesh Friendship Exposition Centre.

China will also provide assistance for the renovation of BICC (Bangabandhu International Convention Centre) and donate a batch of medical, disaster relief and agriculture instruments to Bangladesh and is working on a comprehensive plan of flood prevention and promoting hybrid rice technology, according to the source.

During the 13th JEC meeting, the two parties also had in-depth discussions on jointly building the Silk Road Economic Belt and Marine Silk Road, financing cooperation, economic and technological cooperation and specific projects, and reached a consensus on many fields.

According to available statistics, the trade volume between the two countries reached US$ 14.7 billion in 2015.

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