China is likely to sign over 25 MoUs and deals with Bangladesh during President Xi Jinping's two-day visit, which starts here on Friday.
The two countries are actively considering 25 priority projects for implementation with Chinese financial support that are likely to get a concrete shape on Friday after discussion between the two sides.
They are also likely to sign an umbrella agreement on Friday to establish closer economic ties through strengthening investment and production capacity covering the 25 priority projects with a special focus on Bangladesh’s infrastructure, communication and energy sectors.
Under the umbrella document or memorandum of understanding (MoU), Bangladesh and China will encourage related organisations and enterprises of the two countries to cooperate with each other in the fields of infrastructure construction, energy and power, transportation, communication and establishment of China Economic Zone and Industrial Zone in Chittagong.
The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Commerce will sign the MoU on behalf of Bangladesh and Chinese sides respectively, said an official at the Economic Relations Division.
Talking about the list of key projects, a Foreign Ministry senior official said Economic and Industrial Zone in Chittagong for Chinese investors have been kept on top of the key projects list followed by Bangladesh Garment Industrial Park.
He said there are seven categories of projects namely industrial parks, railway, road, power, petroleum, livelihood and information technology ones.
The memorandum will enter into force upon signature and remain valid for two years.
This will be extended automatically for another two years unless either party informs in writing for termination with six months before the expiry date and that rule will prevail for any extension thereafter.
Both Bangladesh and China are willing to strengthen the economic ties, promote infrastructure construction and industrialisation process together and they acknowledged the importance of building a platform for cooperation projects.
The two countries have common goals - developing the economic ties of the two countries, creating jobs and realising mutually beneficial and win-win situation and mutual development.
Bangladesh and China will follow five cooperation approaches under the MoU. These are investment - both direct and indirect ones - infrastructure building and operation, construction of economic and industrial zones, technology communication and transfer, personal exchange and training and labour service cooperation.
In railway category, there are five projects -- Padma Bridge Rail Link Project, construction of double line between Joydebpur and Ishwardi stations, construction of dual gauge track parallel to the existing MG line in Joydebpur-Mymensingh section, conversion of MG railway track into DG track in Akhaura to Sylhet and construction of new Inland Container Depot near Dhirasram Railway Station.
Four projects are being considered under road category, which are construction of multi-lane road tunnel under the river Karnaphuli, construction of Marine Drive Expressway and Coastal Protection Works from Sitakund-Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar, Dhaka-Ashulia Elevated Expressway Project and Dhaka-Sylhet Four-Lane Highway project.
The projects under power category are Expansion and Strengthening of Power System in DPDC area, system loss reduction, power grid network strengthening project under PGCB, Gazaria 350MW coal fired Thermal Power Plant, extension of the existing underground mining operation of Barapukuria Coal Mine and increasing its current production capacity and pre-payment metering project for BPDB’s distribution zones.
There is only one project being considered under petroleum category - installation of single point mooring with a double pipeline.
Rajshahi Surface Water Treatment Plant, Water Supply, Sanitation, Drainage and Solid Waste Management for Small Size Municipalities, establishment of five full-fledged TV stations of Bangladesh Television; Balancing, Modernisation, Rehabilitation and Expansion (BMRE) programme for the public sector jute mills under BJMC and Expansion and Modernization of Mongla Port Facilities are being considered as livelihood projects.
Meanwhile, four projects are being considered under information technology category. These are Info-Sarkar (Phase III), modernisation of telecommunication network for digital connectivity, establishing digital connectivity and modernisation of rural and urban lives in Bangladesh through ICT, according to a news agency.