China would help Bangladesh build its first deep seaport at any site in the country to facilitate trade and business, Chinese Ambassador Ma Mingqiang said today.
“China is willing to cooperate with any other country in this regard…the cooperation is open and it is not exclusive,” he told diplomatic correspondents at Jatiya Press Club here.
Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) organized the discourse styled “DCAB Talk” with its President Angur Nahar Monty in the chair. DCAB General Secretary Pantho Rahman also spoke.
Referring to necessity of the deep seaport, the Chinese envoy said that it was highly required for trade facilitation especially for boosting Bangladesh’s export as the country has no other such port.
When asked about Chinese investment in Bangladesh, the ambassador said the Chinese investment is gradually growing in Bangladesh as many Chinese groups are coming to Bangladesh in the recent time.
“This year there would be something different… This year will be different (in terms of investment),” he hoped.
About Bangladesh-China trade deficit, he said both the countries need to have balanced trade to make it sustainable. “We cannot offset the trade deficit simply by doing trade,” he said stressing the need for more direct Chinese investment aiming at minimizing the existing trade gap between the two countries.
In this connection, he said Bangladesh needs to increase its manufacturing capacity to ‘catch up’ the Chinese demand. Bangladesh can be a ‘manufacturing hub’ in the region and can boost its exports to China considering its need, he added.
The envoy highly appreciated Bangladesh’s tremendous economic progress in recent years saying Bangladesh is a country ‘full of opportunities’ and its economy is booming.
Regarding China-Bangladesh ties, Ma Mingqiang said the relationship between the two countries has maintained sound momentum since 1975, when it was first established. The two countries have formed a comprehensive partnership of cooperation, he added.
Terming Bangladesh as China’s best friend, the Ambassador said China will be there to meet Bangladesh’s need and fulfill its development goals. He assured that industrial capacity cooperation is a major part of the “Road & Belt Initiative”.
He said China is also eager to help improve the skill of the labour force in Bangladesh to create more employment opportunities.
He said, recently, China and Bangladesh have reached census on the eighth China-Bangladesh Friendship Bridge and the China-Bangladesh Friendship Exposition Center to be built in Purbachal, and China will provide assistance for the renovation of the BICC.
The Chinese government will donate a batch of medical, disaster relief and agriculture instruments to Bangladesh, and is now working on a comprehensive plan of flood prevention and promoting hybrid rice technology.
China also provides a good number of scholarships for Bangladeshi students. Last year, nearly a thousand governmental officials and students went to China for training and further study.