“Bangladesh and China will work patiently to achieve development goals”

Bangladesh and China agreed to work “patiently” to achieve their development goals ignoring “provocation and obstruction”, noting that peace and stability are necessary for a country’s continued progress.

During a media briefing at the Foreign Ministry on Sunday afternoon, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen called Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to Dhaka “politically very significant”.

The Chinese side assured that it will always stand by Bangladesh in its development journey and work together to take the existing good relations to a new level, he said.

Responding to a question, Momen said there had been discussions on the Global Development Initiative (GDI) but no discussions on the Global Security Initiative (GSI), Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) or new Chinese loans.

Wang, who also serves as China’s state councilor, had an hour-long bilateral meeting with Momen at a hotel in the city ahead of his meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at his official Ganobhaban residence, UNB reports.

Responding to a question, Momen said that Bangladesh will further consider the GDI proposal as it continues to receive various proposals from its partner countries.

The Bangladeshi side urged Chinese efforts to expedite the development projects agreed earlier for their timely implementation.

Momen said the two sides also discussed ways to minimize the trade gap between the two countries and China agreed to add more products to the list of duty-free access to the Chinese market from september.

Earlier, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Md. Shahriar Alam said that they already enjoy duty-free access for 98% of items exported to China.

“The remaining 2.0%…has been large and sensitive. Now they have offered an additional 1.0% from September 1. This is good news for Bangladesh as we have a thriving export-based economy” , he said in a separate briefing.

Shahriar said the new tax benefit will likely include clothing, fabrics and other products that previously faced some barriers.

He said that Bangladesh would soon receive a list from China of products and services that would enjoy duty-free access.

The Chinese side agreed to issue visas to Bangladeshi students, immediately opening their return to China. Currently, around 5,000 Bangladeshi students studying in China are waiting to return to campuses there, Momen said.

Shahriar said Bangladesh and China signed four bilateral documents to enhance cooperation between the two countries.

The signed documents are the certificate of handover and acceptance of the China-assisted project of the 8th Bangladesh-China Friendship Bridge, the Memorandum of Understanding on the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Special Assistance Plan ; culture and tourism exchange program for the period of 2023-2027 and memorandum of understanding between Dhaka University and the first institute of oceanography of the Chinese Ministry of Natural Resources for cooperation in marine science and technology.

He said the Chinese foreign minister was delighted to see Bangladesh’s socio-economic progress under the leadership of Prime Minister Hasina.

The two sides discussed bilateral, regional and global issues at the meeting in hopes of “elevating” relations between the two countries to a “new level”.

Minister Wang stressed joint collaboration in the future and appreciated Bangladesh’s stance on the “one China” policy.

Momen saw Wang leaving Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 10:45 a.m. on Sunday. He left for Mongolia, concluding his approximately 18-hour visit to Bangladesh.

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