Make what have demand in China to fuel exports: analysts
Bangladesh needs more Chinese market-oriented investments to boost its exports to Xi Jinping's nation, analysts said today.
Bilateral financial and currency cooperation is strongly recommended to help facilitate trade and economic cooperation between the two countries, they said.
The analysts spoke at a business networking programme titled "China-Bangladesh Enterprises Cooperation Forum 2022" held at the Bangabandhu Bangladesh-China Friendship Exhibition Centre (BBCFEC) in Dhaka's Purbachal today.
The event was jointly organised by the Bangladesh China Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCCI) and the Chinese Enterprises Association in Bangladesh (CEAB).
The China-Bangladesh bilateral relationship is strong, complementary and growing, Chinese Ambassador Li Jiming said at the event.
"Since China and Bangladesh formally established diplomatic ties back in the mid-70s of the last century, the two sides have been sharing broad success for cooperation in different areas, including agriculture, trade, marine affairs, climate change and infrastructure."
The two countries have achieved remarkable progress in these key areas, Jiming said.
Under the Belt and Road Initiative, China has signed more than 200 collaboration documents with 149 countries and 32 international organisations, he said.
As of the first half of this year, China's trade in goods with countries involved in the BRI totalled $11.8 trillion, and its nonfinancial direct investment in these countries exceeded $140 billion, he said.
It is learnt that Chinese direct investment in Bangladesh has increased by 300 per cent and China has promised to invest $40 billion more into joint ventures and infrastructure projects through the BRI, he said.
As one of the most reliable and trusted friends, China continuously supports Bangladesh through various means to promote the infrastructure development, including concessional loans, investment cooperation, project contracting and China-aid projects, Jiming said.
"To boost Bangladesh's exports to China, here are some points I would like to share-first, we recommend Bangladesh's enterprises and exporters participate in China's International Import Expo (CIIE)."
"Second, Bangladesh needs more Chinese market-oriented investment. Bangladesh needs to produce what the Chinese market needs in order to boost export," the ambassador said.
China's investment in Bangladesh in 2021 amounted to $1.26 billion and grew almost threefold.
With an accumulated investment of nearly $3 billion, China remains a prominent source of foreign direct investment for Bangladesh.
The good news is that the Chinese Economic and Industrial Zone, as the first industrial park, will soon be built in Chattogram, which is of landmark significance.
Third, Bangladesh needs to advance studies on the bilateral free trade agreement, he said.
"Last but not the least, bilateral financial and currency cooperation is strongly recommended to help facilitate trade and economic cooperation."
China welcomes Bangladesh to deepen bilateral cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative and to explore new opportunities under the Global Development Initiative, Jiming said.
BCCCI President Gazi Golum Murtoza said: "I think it would not be out of place to mention here that due to worldwide pandemic followed by the Ukraine War, the exchange rate of US dollar has become out of control as it keeps on rising and rising."
Bangladesh and China account for an average annual basket of trade worth $15 billion and such dependence on only foreign currency of US dollar leads to a perilous loss both for Bangladesh and China, he said.
BCCCI Acting General Secretary Al Mamun Mridha and CEAB President Ke Changlian also spoke.