Chinese loans coming at a snail's pace | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 20, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 07:10 PM, February 20, 2019

Chinese loans coming at a snail's pace

A high-level Sino-Bangla meeting in April to address the issue

BY THE NUMBERS

  • China has disbursed only $500mn so far

  • Another $500mn may be released by June 

  • Deals worth $22.5bn were signed more than two years ago

 

China has disbursed only $500 million to Bangladesh out of the $22.5 billion it promised during its President Xi Jinping's landmark visit to Dhaka in October 2016.

Deals aimed at bankrolling 27 projects were struck during the visit, but only five loan agreements for $4.5 billion were signed since then.

It takes between three months to one and a half year for loan agreements to be signed, said a senior official of the Economic Relations Division.

As of January, China has disbursed about $500 million against the ongoing projects, with another $500 million likely to be on way in June.

Against the backdrop, Dhaka wants Beijing to expedite project evaluation and approval so that it can access the funds quickly to implement the projects.

“China-funded projects are slow-moving. It takes a lot of time for evaluation and approval.”

A high-level talk between Bangladesh and China is scheduled for April to address the issue, the official said, adding that deals on two large power projects involving $2.9 billion may be inked by June this year.

The Chinese embassy in Dhaka did not respond to requests for comment on the matter from The Daily Star.

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