The relations between Bangladesh and China are now at ‘new historical’ turning point and heading towards a ‘promising future’ said Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday.
“China-Bangladesh cooperation will deliver more fruits for the people of the two countries, and will contribute to peace and stability and development in the region,” he said, reports UNB.
The Chinese President made the remarks after official talks with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and signing of 27 MoUs and agreement between the two countries at the Prime Minister’s Office.
Xi said they agreed to elevate China-Bangladesh relationship from a ‘Closer Comprehensive Partnership of Cooperation’ to a ‘Strategic Partnership of Cooperation’.
Both sides also agreed to increase high-level exchanges and strategic communication so that the bilateral relations move ahead at even a higher level, he said.
Terming his meeting with Prime Minister Hasina ‘warm and productive’ the Chinese President said they reached agreements on a number of important issues.
“We have agreed jointly advance road and belt initiative,” Xi said adding that they also agreed to launch a joint feasibility study on China-Bangladesh FTA (Free Trade Agreement) to strengthen trade and investment cooperation.
The Chinese President laid emphasis on enhancing practical cooperation in key areas such as infrastructure, production capacity, energy and power, transportation, ICT, and agriculture.
He said China will continue to do its best in providing capital, technical and human resources to carry out close cooperation on the projects to support economic and social development of Bangladesh.
The two countries also agreed to designate the year 2017 as the year of ‘exchange and friendship’ between Bangladesh and China during which colorful events will be held to carry forward the friendship.
They also laid emphasis on institutionalising cooperation on maritime affairs, counter-terrorism, advance BCIM Economic Corridor and increase communication and coordination on international and regional issues.
“China is ready to work with Bangladesh as friends and partners with trust and support to each other,” said the Chinese President.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, “Today, we have elevated our 'Closer Comprehensive Partnership of Cooperation' to a 'Strategic Partnership for Cooperation' and under this strategic partnership, we've agreed to work towards socio-economic advancement of the peoples of our two countries.”
She said they reached a consensus on cooperation in key areas such as trade and investment, infrastructure, industry, power, and energy, information and communication technology and agriculture.
They witnessed the signing of 27 agreements and MoUs of cooperation that cover, among others, such as trade, and investment, blue economy, BCIM-EC, roads, and bridges, railways, power, maritime, ICT, Industrial production, capacity building and skill development.
Both leaders also unveiled the plaques of six projects adding that the signing of these instruments and the unveiling of these plaques creating a platform for the two countries to cooperate at a higher plane.
The Prime Minister said her government's efforts today are aimed at attaining goals of becoming a knowledge-based middle-income country by 2021 and eventually a developed country by 2041.
“By attaining these goals we will realise Bangabandhu's dream of Sonar Bangladesh - the Golden Bengal - a Bangladesh free of hunger, poverty and deprivation,” said the Prime Minister.
She also they had very fruitful discussions on bilateral, regional and international issues of common interest. “We have reiterated our commitment to support the 'One China Policy'. We have agreed to work closely and support each other on regional and international issues of mutual interest.” –RH