Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday sought China's co-operation in getting easy access for Bangladeshi products to its market with the aim to reduce huge trade gap between the two countries.
Terming China a time-tested friend of Bangladesh, she lauded the progress China has made in recent years, and said the neighbouring countries needed the share of the benefit of development.
Hasina made the remarks during a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister of China Wang Yang at the Kunming International Conference Centre in the afternoon. Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque briefed reporters after the meeting.
Stressing the importance of regional connectivity among the countries in South Asia and China, she underscored the need for the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIM-EC) to boost economic cooperation in the region.
During the meeting, the Chinese vice premier mentioned that the existing trade gap between the two countries could be reduced through bilateral discussions.
Wang Yang highly appreciated Bangladesh's support to One China Policy, saying his country was very pleased over Dhaka's approach in this regard as well as on its stance towards regional connectivity.
He lauded the progress which Bangladesh has achieved over the last couple of years, and said China wanted to be a partner in the effort.
Yang also told Hasina that China wanted to relocate its industries in Bangladesh if proper sites were available for such an initiative.
In reply, Hasina said a special economic and industrial zone would be established in Chittagong for China, and her government would provide necessary land for the purpose.
In this connection, she said Bangladesh could import a portion of gas which China was going to import from Myanmar through Kunming and it would be used at the proposed special economic zone.
The Chinese vice premier assured Hasina of discussing the matter with the authorities in Beijing, and said a positive decision could be taken to this end.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, State Minister on Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam, among others, were present on the occasion.
Later in the evening, Hasina attended the banquet hosted by the governor of the Yunnan province Li Jeheng.