China plans investment in two industrial parks
China is set to invest around $4.5 billion in two designated special economic zones in Chittagong and Dhaka.
"First we need to meet the needs of Bangladesh and secondly the need of the global market," Chinese Ambassador in Dhaka Ma Mingqiang told the news agency on Monday.
The Chinese envoy said they are working on two industrial parks -- one in south Chittagong on 774 acres of land and the other in south Dhaka.
The second one will be on less than 500 acres of land, and will create 200,000-250,000 jobs in Bangladesh, he said.
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council has approved the proposed economic and industrial zone exclusively for Chinese investors in Chittagong.
Ambassador Ma, however, thinks that only two industrial parks may not be enough as Bangladesh needs many more parks to make the best use of the zones.
"All Chinese investors are very interested to get a place inside the special economic zone. They're competing with each other."
The diplomat said there should be a "marriage of advantages" in the bilateral cooperation to make it the situation win-win.
SOLUTION TO TRADE GAP
On minimising the trade gap, Ambassador Ma said at this moment the trade gap cannot be addressed solely or singlehandedly because Bangladesh is not producing enough.
He said more Chinese investment can help, and emphasised re-export from Bangladesh to China and the global market.
Bangladesh can export fresh fruits like mangoes, seafood, marine and agro products, he said, adding that China is a huge market.
On granting more duty-free access for Bangladeshi products to China, the envoy said China is looking into it.
10PC GROWTH REACHABLE
Appreciating Bangladesh's stable economic growth over the last few years, the Chinese envoy said he will not be surprised if Bangladesh's economy grows at 10pc or more.
He said Bangladesh is the most competitive in the labour cost and lies at the centre of three big economies -- India, Asean and Northeast Asia.