Bangladesh products to get duty-free access to China

BEIJING, March 18 (BSS) – China will allow duty free access of Bangladeshi products to its markets and increase its supports for the country’s efforts to face floods and other natural calamities caused by global warming. 

Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao gave the assurance during official talks with Bangladesh Premier Sheikh Hasina held at East Hall of Great Gall here this afternoon.

During the talks that lasted nearly an hour in a cordial atmosphere, the two leaders discussed various issues of bilateral interest as well Chinese support and cooperation for Bangladesh‘s socio-economic sectors.

Press Secretary to the Prime Minister Abul Kalam Azad briefed newsmen after the talks.

In the meeting, the Bangladesh Prime Minister also sought short and long term Chinese assistance, grants and approval of State to State loan on ODA basis for implementing seven projects in Bangladesh‘s agriculture, power and infrastructure sectors.

These are grants for construction of Chinese Exhibition Centre with car parking facilities, construction of road and rail infrastructure connecting Chittagong with Kunming through Gundum of Myanmar, construction of 8th BangladeshChina friendship bridge, Water Purification Project in Pagla, Financial and Technical support for construction of power plant in Bangladesh, strengthening organizational cooperation between China National Hybrid Rice Research Centre and Bangladesh Rice Research Institutes (BRRI) and waiving Chinese loan.

Welcoming Sheikh Hasina to the Great Hall, the Chinese Prime Minister lauded her leadership, saying that democracy has been strengthened further in Bangladesh after her assumption of office of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh

“Stability in socio-economic sectors has been brought back after your assumption as the Prime Minister of Bangladesh,” Mr. Jiabao told Sheikh Hasina and expressed the hope that Bangladesh will achieve further progress in this vital sectors in future due to her prudent leadership.

Referring to excellent bilateral relations existing between the two countries, the Chinese Premier said the cooperation in the country’s socio-economic sectors would be bolstered in the days to come. 

In reply, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina recalled the visits of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to China in 1953 and 1957 and said through these visit bilateral links between Bangladesh and China had been established.

Sheikh Hasina said China is a trusted friend of Bangladesh and her country attaches highest importance to its relationship with China in the greater interest of the two Asian nations.

Mentioning the Chinese support for Bangladesh‘s development sector, Sheikh Hasina said the Chinese cooperation in the country’s infrastructure, trade and business, agriculture, energy and power have been playing an important role in the country’s socio-economic development.

In this context, she referred to BangladeshChina Friendship Bridge, Bangabandhu International Conference Centre and other projects being implemented through Chinese support

During the talks, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina sought Chinese support and cooperation in modernizing flood forecasting and warning centre, river dreading projects, satellite launching and setting up remote sensing satellite, increasing stipend for Bangladeshi students up to 150 and providing scholarship facilities to the foreign service officials.

Referring to defence cooperation, the Prime Minister requested the Chinese government to provide two frigates with three helicopters under long term loan assistance and called for extending support to her government’s endeavours in tackling the challenges of climate change.

Laying emphasis on regional cooperation, Sheikh Hasina said relations among the countries in the region, especially China, India and Mayanmar, have to be bolstered for the overall benefit in the region

She said concerted efforts have to be taken to eliminate terrorism and militancy from the region. Describing poverty as a common enemy, she said united steps have to be taken to eradicate poverty from the Asian region

As the Bangladesh premier sought Chinese cooperation in these sectors, Mr. Wen Jiabao assured her to provide his country’s support for these sectors for overall development of Bangladesh.

Regarding the climate change issue, the Chinese Premier appreciated the role of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her prudent leadership in those forums where she raised the vulnerability of the affected countries and sought international support to tackle the climate change challenges.

Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni, Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossin, Industries Minister Dilip Barua, State Minister for Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs Dipankar Talukder, Ambassador-at-Large M Ziauddin, Principal Secretary M A Karim, ERD Secretary Mohammad Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, Foreign Secretary Mohamed Mijarul Quayes, Post and Telecommunications Secretary Sunil Kanti Bose, Press Secretary to the Prime Minister Abul Kalam Azad, Bangladesh Ambassador to China Munshi Foiz Ahmad and DG, Far East, Monirul Islam were present during the meeting.