Nicely decorated capital Dhaka is ready to welcome Chinese President Xi Jinping who arrives here on a historic state visit on Friday morning to give 'more golden fruits' for stronger Bangladesh-China relations.
Bangladesh hopes the visit, taking place three decades after then Chinese President Li Xiannian’s in March 1986, will steer a 'historic new journey' towards opening up a 'new horizon' in relations between the two countries.
"I believe with the joint efforts of our two peoples, China-Bangladesh cooperation will bear even more golden fruits," President Xi said in an article describing Bangladesh a 'beautiful' country.
Bangladesh and China will sign over 25 MoUs and deals which are expected to usher in a new chapter of greater collaboration between the two nations.
Though officials are still unwilling to speak up about the figure of financial package that China may offer during the visit, diplomatic sources indicated it may exceed US$ 25 billion with special focus on connectivity and mega infrastructure development projects.
The roadsides through which the Chinese President will pass by during his 22-hour stay have nicely been decorated with portraits of the Chinese President, banners and placards welcoming him in Bangladesh.
Posters with pictures of President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina are also seen with Chinese President's mega photos in all the major streets and intersections across the city.
"Heartiest welcome to his excellency Mr. Xi Jinping President of China," "Long Live Bangladesh-China Friendship" are written on some of the posters.
The Chinese President arrives here at 11:40am by a special VVIP flight from Cambodia and he will be escorted by Air Force jet in Bangladesh sky.
President Abdul Hamid will receive his Chinese counterpart on his arrival at the VVIP terminal at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport amid a rousing reception and 21-gun salute.
The Chinese President will proceed to the saluting dais accompanied by his Bangladesh counterpart, and will receive guard of honor and inspect the guard.
A 13-member high power delegation including Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Finance Minister Lou Jiwei, Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng, Governor of the People's Bank of China Zhou Xiaochuan, will accompany the Chinese President.
President Xi will leave the airport at 12pm for his place of residence - Hotel Le Meridien.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will receive the Chinese President at the Prime Minister's Office and they will hold tete-a-tete at Shimul from 3pm to 3:10pm.
The official talks between the Chinese President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will be held at Chameli from 3:10pm to 4pm.
They will witness the signing of MoUs and agreements which will be held at Karobi soon after the official talks. There will be a press statement after the signing ceremony.
The Chinese President will sign visitors' book there before returning to his place of residence.
Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury will meet the Chinese President at Rangamati Room of the hotel at 4:35 retreat.
After the meeting, President Xi will head towards Bangabhaban and meet his Bangladesh counterpart Abdul Hamid at 6:30pm.
The Chinese President will attend banquet preceded by cultural programme to be hosted by Hamid at Darbar Hall from 7pm-8:30pm.
On Saturday, the Chinese President will leave hotel for National Martyrs Memorial at 8:20pm
Housing and Public Works Minister Engineer Mosharraf Hossain, Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Huq and the General Commanding Officer of the 9th infantry division will receive the Chinese President in Savar at 8:55am.
After attending the ceremony at the National Martyrs Memorial, the Chinese President will sign visitors' book and plant a sapling there.
President Xi will reach the airport straight from Savar and leave for Goa, India at 10am on Saturday by the special VVIP flight. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will see him off at the airport.
Dhaka and Beijing are likely to sign an umbrella agreement to establish closer economic ties through strengthening investment and production capacity covering some 25 priority projects with a special focus on Bangladesh's infrastructure, communication and energy sectors.
Chinese Ambassador in Dhaka Ma Mingqiang has recently said Chinese President Xi Jinping's forthcoming Dhaka visit will take the Bangladesh-China relations to a new height.
China has already termed its President's Bangladesh visit a 'milestone' for Bangladesh-China friendship.
Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou said Bangladesh is China's important partner in South Asia and the Indian Ocean region, and the visit would be a 'milestone' for Bangladesh-China relationship.
China has emerged as the biggest source of import for Bangladesh since 2007. In 2015-16, two-way trades between the two countries has crossed US$ 9 billion with US$ 8223.20 million import from China and US$ 791.03 million export.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam, Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque and senior officials of the ministry were present at the press conference held at the Foreign Ministry, according to a news agency.