China-Bangladesh relations will surely reach new height: envoy
With the guidance of the Belt and Road Initiative, China-Bangladesh relations will surely reach a new height and open a new era of friendly cooperation, Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Yao Wen has said.
"The Belt and Road Initiative has no gene of seeking hegemony, no tradition of interfering in other country's internal affairs, and no elements of expansion and plunder," he said.
Yao Wen was addressing a report launching event at a city hotel yesterday evening, marking the 10th anniversary of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
"It can be said that on the journey of Bangladesh's modernisation, the Belt and Road Initiative is most consistent with the 'Vision 2041' and 'Sonar Bangla' dream and is most suitable for Bangladesh's reality," he added.
Bangladesh is the first country in South Asia to join the BRI, a China-led global initiative to connect Asia, Europe and Africa. It was launched in 2013.
The core spirit of the ancient Silk Road is peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, learning from each other and mutual benefit. This spirit is a vivid image of China's fine traditional culture, and it is also the core essence of today's Belt and Road Initiative, Yao Wen said.
Over the past decade, it has attracted the participation of more than three-quarters of countries and 32 international organisations worldwide, generated nearly 1 trillion US dollars of investment, formed more than 3,000 cooperation projects, and lifted about 40 million people out of poverty.
China has made a commitment of $40 billion for Bangladesh's development under BRI.
Yao Wen said in the past seven years, the BRI has injected impetus into Bangladesh's economic growth, and improved the livelihood of Bangladeshi people.
"Looking ahead, the BRI will continue to unleash strong vitality and become a road of opportunity and prosperity for China and Bangladesh," he said.
Wen said China's BRI can help Bangladesh's real GDP growth by at least 2.1 percent and decrease extreme poverty by 1.3 percent.
The BRI also will generate additional 2.5-5.1 percent employment, he said.
The trade volume between Bangladesh and China has increased from $15.3 billion in 2016 to $27.8 billion in 2022, Wen said.
Also, the Chinese investment to Bangladesh has gone up from $241 million in 2016 to $1.346 billion, he added.
Education Minister Dipu Moni lauded China for the support being extended to Bangladesh and its people.
"Two countries will work together to push Bangladesh-China relations to a new height," UNB quoted her as saying while speaking as the chief guest at the report launching programme.
She noted Chinese President Xi Jinping's commitment to stand by Bangladesh in it's journey towards a developed and smart nation by 2041.
Dhaka University Development Studies Department Prof Dr Rashed Al Titumir said there needs to be a shift from debt financing to risk sharing in the international development regime.