Describing China as a “trusted partner” of Bangladesh, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said President Xi Jinping’s visit this week would elevate the bilateral ties to newer heights as the country seeks enhanced cooperation in trade and investment.
Hasina’s comments came ahead of Xi’s visit to Bangladesh on Friday, the first by a Chinese head of state in 30 years.
Bangladesh is hoping to get an estimated USD 40 billion from China as credit during Xi’s visit, media reports here have said.
“I believe that President Xi’s visit will also be more important for South Asia,” Hasina told China’s state-run Xinhua news agency.
“China has become our largest trading partner and we consider China as a trusted partner in realising our dreams too. China is the leading generator of many our mega-projects in terms of finance, capitalisation and technology,” she said.
Noting that Bangladesh-China relations are now framed within a comprehensive partnership of cooperation, she said, “We are planning to elevate the relationship to a newer height with the much-awaited visit of President Xi.”
Hasina said cooperation between Bangladesh and China has gained maturity in past decades and the relations are underpinned by “the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence, spirit of good neighborliness, mutual trust, confidence and non-interference into each other’s internal affairs.”
She said Bangladesh adheres to the ‘one-China’ policy and supports China on issues related to its core national interests and efforts to safeguard its national sovereignty and territorial integrity, according to the agency report.
There are huge potentials for future expansion of the two countries’ engagement in fields such as development of infrastructure and investing in sectors like Information and communications technology (ICT), agro-processing and electronics.
Hailing China-proposed ‘Belt and Road’ initiative, Hasina said Bangladesh is now working to connect growth centres of the country with the rest of the region in South Asia and create a single economic contiguity between South Asia and Southeast Asia.
And this “would be host to greater integration with East Asia and connect the three ecosystems to the rest of the world through our seaports in the south,” she added.
“We are on the verge of launching the exclusive Economic and Industrial Zone in Chittagong that would be a landmark event in our economic, investment and trade cooperation. We would like to encourage Chinese investors to invest in these economic zones as a developer or as an individual investor,” she said.