Leading economists, academics and policy researchers today stressed that Dhaka- Beijing cooperation should be further enhanced in the areas of energy, power, agriculture, education and human resources development.
They said that smart negotiations and smooth implementation of Chinese funded projects are similarly important to encourage Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from China with favourable terms and conditions, BSS reports.
“Bangladesh needs very smart negotiations with China over the possibility of US$23 billion Chinese investment in Bangladesh in the next five years,” Executive Director of Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Prof Mustafizur Rahman said at a roundtable.
The roundtable was organized by The Daily Star, an English language newspaper, at “The Daily Star Bhaban” on “China-Bangladesh Relations-Connecting the Two economics” ahead of the upcoming visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping on October 14.
Prof. Mustafizur however emphasized maintaining good governance in dealing with huge Chinese investment over the next five years. “In the next five years, we’re talking about US $ 23 billion Chinese investment,” he added.
Referring to Chinese investment in the Special Economic Zone, he said the huge volume of investment can make big change in capacity building. Besides, Bangladesh can avail the chance of setting up some industries which China is going to shift to other countries due to its high labour cost.
He also spoke on other issues that can pave the way to get more Chinese investment with easy terms and conditions.
Ambassador Farooq Sobhan, President, Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI) said the Chinese investment would be an opportunity and challenges for Bangladesh in terms of proper implementation of those mega projects.
In this connection, he opined that Bangladesh should provide support for fast track implementation of the Chinese funded project as China, for the first time, was coming to Bangladesh with huge investment for infrastructure development.
He said energy cooperation issue with environment protection and duty free access of Bangladeshi products to Chinese markets should come into sharp focus during the Dhaka-Beijing negotiations.
Ambassador Munshi Faiz Ahmad, Chairman of Board of Governance of Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) said the issues like manpower export to China, development of green economy, marine technology transfer and cooperation in education and agriculture sector should be focused on during the negotiations besides reducing trade gap.
The speakers also laid emphasis on increasing people-to-people contact as well as trade and cultural bodies in the greater economic and cultural benefit of the two countries.
The Daily Star Editor Mahfuz Anam made opening remarks in the roundtable when brig. Gen. (rtd) Shahedul Anam Khan moderated the function.