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PM tells Chinese businesses to explore new areas of trade, investment ties

July 10, 2024 00:00:00

In presence of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, business leaders of Bangladesh and China sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the Shangri-La Circle in Beijing on Tuesday. — PID

BEIJING, July 9 (UNB): Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday said now is the time for Bangladesh and China to explore new areas of further collaboration in trade and investment to create a prosperous future for both.

"It is time for us to explore new areas of further collaboration in trade and investment. Together, we can create a prosperous future that benefits both our countries and people," she said.

The prime minister was speaking at a summit on Trade, Business and Investment Opportunities between Bangladesh and China at China World Summit Wing, Shangri-La Circle, Beijing.

It was organised by the Embassy of Bangladesh in Beijing, BIDA, BSEC and CCPIT.

Hasina said that the partnership between Bangladesh and China holds unbound promise as both countries are looking to the future.

"Our shared vision for economic growth, technological advancement, and sustainable development forms the cornerstone of our bilateral relations," she said.

She also extended an open invitation to Chinese businesses to visit Bangladesh, explore the opportunities, and experience the warmth and hospitality of our people.

"You will find in us all the support and assistance you need. Let us work together to build a stronger, more prosperous, and more connected world. It is time to invest in Bangladesh, and I am confident that with our hands joined, together we can achieve great things," she said.

The prime minister said that China is the largest partner of Bangladesh, with trade volumes increasing year by year.

However, she said, there remains immense potential to further expand the trade ties.

"We are committed to addressing trade imbalances and creating a more equitable trade relationship," she said.

She mentioned that Bangladesh is keen to export more products to China, such as textiles, garments, leather goods, jute products, and agricultural produce.

"We welcome Chinese investments in our export-oriented industries, which will help us diversify our export basket and reduce trade deficits," she said.

To enhance business cooperation, Sheikh Hasina encouraged Chinese companies to form joint ventures with Bangladeshi firms.

"This collaboration will facilitate technology transfer, skill development, and market access for both parties. Investment in research and development is crucial for fostering innovation and competitiveness," she added.

She invited Chinese companies to establish R&D centers in Bangladesh, leveraging Bangladesh's skilled workforce and academic ingenuity.

The prime minister encouraged the Chinese business community to consider key sectors in Bangladesh and welcomes investments in infrastructure, energy, and logistics sectors.

"We believe there is significant potential for Chinese investment, particularly in the energy sector, including renewable energy," she said.

She mentioned that Climate-resilient smart farming opens opportunities for collaboration in agro-processing industries, with buy-back arrangements with China.

"We plan to establish three special tourism zones where China can invest in the real estate and hospitality sectors."

She also urged Chinese investors to explore portfolio investments in Bangladesh as the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) is actively working to further develop our capital markets.

"The aim is to make them more attractive to foreign investors. We have made significant progress in developing a robust bond market. We are on the brink of introducing derivative products, which will further diversify and widen our financial markets," she said.

Hasina, who is now on a four day official visit to China, said that as Bangladesh is embracing the digital age with open arms the government is actively promoting the growth of the ICT sector, offering incentives for startups, investing in tech parks, and fostering an ecosystem that encourages innovation and entrepreneurship.

"Our young entrepreneurs are making their mark on the global stage, and we invite you to be a part of this exciting journey," she said.

She stated that sustainability is at the heart of Bangladesh's development agenda and the government believes that economic growth and environmental sustainability are interlinked.

"We offer numerous opportunities in renewable energy, waste management, and green technologies," she told the gathering.

As investors, she said, you will discover that Bangladesh is committed to ensuring your business operations are profitable.

The Prime Minister said that Bangladesh is one of very few economies that have continued to grow during the pandemic and the country is now set to graduate from the UN's Least Developed Countries in 2026.

Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Li Fei, Chairman of China Communications Construction Group Company Ltd Wang Tongzhou, President and CEO of HSBC China Mark Wang, Senior Vice President of Huawei Simon Lin, China Ambassador to Bangladesh Yao Wen, Bangladesh Ambassador to China Md Jashim Uddin and Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) Lokman Hossain Miah spoke on the occasion.

Chairman of Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission Prof Shibli Rubayat-Ul Islam delivered the welcome speech.

Several hundred business leaders, investors and entrepreneurs from Bangladesh and China joined the summit.

In the summit, 16 Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) were exchanged between several companies of Bangladesh and China.

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