Ahead of the BRI Summit in Beijing next week, Prime Minister's International Affairs Adviser Dr Gowher Rizvi yesterday said Bangladesh has welcomed China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), as it fits the country's national priorities.
“The establishment of BRI along with other initiatives is an important opportunity for development of the region and the country is proud to be a part of this initiative,” he said.
He was addressing the launching ceremony of the first Chinese quarterly magazine in the country, “The Belt and Road” -- focusing on the vision of the BRI -- held at the auditorium of Institute of Modern Languages at Dhaka University (DU).
Bangladesh unit of the Centre for East Asia Foundation (CEAF), a non-profit and non-political independent study circle, organised the ceremony.
Rizvi claimed that the country has been working in favour of the initiative even before its announcement.
“We had our own BCIM (Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar Economic Corridor) which is essentially a reduced version of the Belt and Road Initiative,” he said.
He said the country is extremely fortunate to have found countries like China and India as its neighbours.
“Our relations with these two countries are really important for making a prosperous Bangladesh, and bilateral relationship with China is already trusted,” he said.
Rizvi said the country is successful in managing its foreign relations, and has already become a model of development and innovation.
“If you look objectively, today Bangladesh's foreign policy has had spectacular success through its ability to maintain outstanding relations with different foreign countries,” Rizvi added.
CEAF Executive Director Nasim Mahmmud said the publication of this magazine will have Bangla and English sections, to cater to a wider audience.
He said BRI is a noble initiative for the world, as it aims to strengthen infrastructure, trade and investment links between China and more than 65 other countries in the world.
Among others, Chen Wei, Charge d'Affairs, Embassy of the People's Republic of China; and Prof Dr Delwar Hossain of the department of International Relations at DU also spoke at the ceremony, chaired by former ambassador Selina Mohsin.
A 37-member delegation from Bangladesh will attend the second Belt and Road Forum on International Cooperation to be held in Beijing from April 25-27. The BRI is a multi-billion-dollar initiative launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013.
Bangladesh formally joined BRI, when the Xi Jinping visited Bangladesh in October 2016. Later, he committed $40 billion of investment and aid for Bangladesh, said organisers.