Also strongly supported Bangladesh's green and low-carbon energy development
China will work to promote business opportunities in Bangladesh and improve the business environment to attract more Chinese enterprises, said the Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jimming on Tuesday.
The second largest economy in the world will also enhance the interests to protect its investors, adding that they will do so in Bangladesh with the help of all relevant government agencies like Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (Bida), Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (Bepza), Bangladesh Economy Zones Authority (Beza), and others with prominent business associations like FBCCI and so on.
He made the remarks during a virtual conference on China-Bangladesh Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum 2021 and the Inauguration of the seventh council of Chinese Enterprises Association in Bangladesh (Ceab) on the day.
The Chinese envoy also said that Bangladesh is the first South Asian country to join the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
“Currently a number of major BRI projects are rooted in Bangladesh, with some key cooperation projects being launched. China encourages Chinese enterprises to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with the business community of Bangladesh, especially in the manufacturing sector to accelerate the green and low-carbon transformation,” he added.
He also said that they are striving to achieve their carbon peak by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060. China will also strongly support Bangladesh's green and low-carbon energy development.
“China will no longer build coal and power projects in Bangladesh. Chinese and Bangladeshi enterprises should actively explore and strive for new breakthroughs to promote Sino-Bangladesh economic and trade cooperation to a broader field and a deeper level,” he added.
Jimming also said that from January to July 2021, the trade volume between China and Bangladesh reached $13 billion, up 58.9% year on year.
The contracted turnover of projects of the Chinese enterprises in Bangladesh was $3.18 billion, up 59.5% year on year while Chinese direct investment in Bangladesh was $418 million, up 199.8% year on year, he added.
Bangladesh is expected to graduate from the LDCs by 2026 and could be among the world's top 25 economies by 2030. The bilateral relations have developed smoothly and economic and trade cooperation has been remarkable between China and Bangladesh, he added in his speech as special guest at the program.
Prime minister’s private industry and investment adviser Salman F Rahman attended the program as chief guest.
He congratulated the newly-elected president and other members of the seventh Ceab council.
He hoped that Ceab will play a very important and constructive role for making a closer and stronger relationship for the two business communities of China and Bangladesh.
Rahman urged the Chinese businesses to take part in the Bangladesh Investment Summit, slated to be held in November.
He also agreed with the Chinese envoy to strengthen cooperation between the two countries and was willing to sign a government-to-government and public private partnership deal with China immediately, to further deepen the economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.
Ke Changliang, president of the Ceab, said that the Ceab members work in Bangladesh for long-term development while actively fulfilling their social responsibilities and making positive contributions to the economic development of Bangladesh.
“As the largest Chinese association in Bangladesh, Ceab will continue to perform service functions, strengthen close ties with Bangladesh business, guide Chinese enterprises in Bangladesh to keep foothold in Bangladesh, make contributions to Bangladesh in the post-Covid-19 pandemic era for greater development in economic and trade cooperation between the two countries,” he added.
Moreover, Bangladeshi speakers also mentioned that now is the right time to sign a free trade agreement with China. Most of Bangladesh's total imports now come from China.
So, the signing of an FTA will take the trade relations between the two countries to a new height, they added.
Sirazul Islam, executive chairman of Bida, Maj Gen Md Nazrul Islam, executive chairman of Bepza, Ali Ahsan, additional secretary member (investment & promotion) of Beza, Md Jashim Uddin, president of FBCCI, Gazi Golam Murtoza, president of BCCCI, Rizwan Rahman, president of DCCI, Ngan Ka Hang Calvin, president of Overseas Chinese Association in Bangladesh, Lin Weiqiang, honorary life president of Ceab, Zhuang Lifeng, honorary president of Ceab, and Yang Jianshui, vice president of Ceab, also spoke at the event.