Bangladesh signs two OBOR deals with China

Dhaka,  Sun,  24 September 2017
Published : 16 May 2017, 00:19:55

Bangladesh signs two OBOR deals with China

Beijing meet vows not to push political agenda
Jubair Hasan, From Beijing

Bangladesh signed two agreements with China under the OBOR initiative in the global forum that concluded Monday in Beijing with a massage of not pushing any political agenda among the participating countries.

Chinese President Xi Jinping made the announcement at a jam-packed press briefing over outcomes of the two-day meet on his flagship 'One Belt, One Road (OBOR)' vision on international cooperation at Yanqi Lake International Convention Center in the Chinese capital.

Bangladesh signs two OBOR deals with ChinaUnder the couple of deals, China will enhance industrial investment, trade connectivity and finance power-grid upgrading, thermal power, coalmine modernisation, tyre-factory projects in Bangladesh, one of China's key OBOR locations entering the Indian Ocean.

Details of the treaties were not available till the filing of the report.

Briefing the reporters, the Chinese president said his government signed the economic and trade cooperation agreements with the governments of 30 countries, including Bangladesh, Pakistan, Vietnam, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Afghanistan, where they will increase industrial investments and trade connectivity.

He said the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of China also signed loan agreements on power-grid upgrading, thermal power, coalmine modernisation, and tyre projects with relevant companies of four countries, including Bangladesh.

For financing those projects along the OBOR regions, China Development Bank and Export-Import Bank of China are going to set up special lending schemes worth US$36.2 billion and US$18.8 billion respectively.

Terming the initiative a new stage of equal benefits in the globalised world, Mr. Xi mentioned a total of 270 agreements, MoUs (memorandum of understandings), 'cooperation plans and documents' with the participating countries and global financial institutions like UNDP, WHO, IMO, WEF on five key areas - policy, infrastructure, trade, financial and people connectivity.

He said they reached a consensus on OBOR roadmap during the forum and identified major challenges where the participating countries will work together pulling their full efforts and resources to gain a prosperous, poverty-free world.

"The implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative is now in full swing," said Mr. Xi, who came up with the OBOR concept in 2013.

Mentioning the just-concluded forum as a successful one, he said the next OBOR forum will be held in China in 2019 and the next step is to seek deeper and broader cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative framework, and that China hopes the initiative will boost economic growth for participating countries and intensify people-to-people bonds.

President Xi Jinping called for efforts to deepen cooperation between countries and international organizations to revive the global economy, as the world suffers sluggish growth amid increasing protectionism.

He hoped that the forum could be a good opportunity to discuss ways of increasing world economic growth and boosting trade and investment.

"To resolve problems such as trade and investment sluggishness, conflicts and terrorism, individual countries need to cooperate with each other as well as international organizations. It is a positive massage in the forum that we'll not push political agenda in the initiative," he said.

The communist leader suggested countries should integrate their development strategies to form a common action plan that is beneficial to all.

In the forum, China promised to make additional financial contribution worth US$124 billion as part of the initiative to develop infrastructure, business, socio-cultural ties among countries participate in the initiative.

Official data show that China has so far invested over US$50 billion under the OBOR initiative and planned to invest around US$ 500 billion in the next five years.

It will also build 56 economic zones along the OBOR countries with the investment of US$18.5 billion, which will create 180,000 jobs.
Editor : A.H.M Moazzem Hossain
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