Speakers say at workshop
China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) would boost Bangladesh’s trade and business with Asian countries, especially with China, said discussants at a workshop in Dhaka on Monday.
Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) and United Nation Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) jointly organized the workshop titled “Implication of the Belt and Road Initiative for the Sustainable Development Goals in Bangladesh” at BIISS auditorium.
Shamsul Alam, member (senior secretary) at the General Economic Division, Planning Commission, attended the workshop as chief guest.
“We have to construct a lot more of infrastructures to become a developed country. The BRI has come to us as a boon in terms of economic growth and transformation,” he added.
The BRI has a targeted date of completion by 2049 on the occasion of China's centenary founding anniversary.
It projected that $120-500 billion investment would be required, which was 1.5% of the global foreign direct investment (FDI).
“The Middle East and North Africa have to invest 13%, East Asia Pacific 34%, Europe and Central Asia 33% and South Asia 19% of the total projected investment,” Shamsul also said.
Mahfuz Kabir, research director of BIISS, said improving the country's infrastructures would help Bangladesh attain its sustainable development goals (SDGs), as better connectivity could help eradicate poverty and increase economic growth.
Ambassador M Fazlul Karim, chairman of BIISS, chaired the workshop.
Col Sheikh Masud Ahmed, acting director general, BIISS, delivered the welcome speech while Namsuk Kim, project coordinator, UNDESA, New York and Lin Yang, program officer, UNDESA, New York was connected through Skype with their presentations.
Bangladesh became member of BRI in 2016 following a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
This membership is aimed at attaining SDGs and achieving national development marks such as becoming a middle-income country by 2021 and to emerge as a development nation by 2041.