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Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh raising its profile in China

Update : 28 Apr 2013, 02:09 PM

Bangladesh is going to become the ‘theme country’ in the first-ever China-South Asia Expo to be held in Kunming, China in June this year.

“It is a great opportunity for Bangladesh to exhibit multidimensional potential of the country and promote exports to China,” East Asia affairs director general of foreign ministry, Sheikh Mohammed Belal, told the Dhaka Tribune.

“We want to display the ‘best of Bangladesh’ in the expo where all countries from the region will take part.”

China is the biggest import sourcing country for Bangladesh after India as it presently imports products worth over $7.1bn against its exports of about $450m to the country. Bangladesh imports goods worth $4.7bn from India.   

China has taken the initiative to further strengthen its ties with South Asia, a growing economic region, and it has selected Kunming to make it an important contact point, said the official. Kunming is only 900 miles away from Bangladesh.

“Kunming is considered as China’s gateway to South and Souteast Asia and it is easier for China to do trade with South Asia through Kunming.”

Deep sea port

Officials considered that it would be cost-effective for Bangladesh to send goods to Europe and the US through its ports.

“Exporters of Kunming, in some cases, travel thousands of kilometers to reach the nearest ports for sending their products to Europe market,” Belal said.

The proposed deep sea port in Sonadia of Bangladesh could be a solution for the Chinese exporters, and China is interested to set up the port, he said.


Engagement of Beijing, including economic relations, with Bangladesh is growing but it is difficult for Dhaka to soak up all of them, said an official of the ministry.

“In recent times, China proposed multi-billion proposals on different projects including the deep sea port, Padma Bridge and tunnel under the river Karnaphuly.”

The government did not engage enough of its resources to evaluate the proposals, he said.

He added that the enthusiasm the government of Bangladesh shows during any negotiation with New Delhi and Washington does not reflect in case of Beijing. “Something is missing in this case.”

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