China has become the largest trade partner in Bangladesh while Bangladesh is China's third largest trade partner in South Asia
The year 2021 marks the 46th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Bangladesh and the fifth anniversary of President Xi Jinping's visit to Bangladesh.
Progress was achieved with regard to cooperation in all fields including economic and trade.
China has become the largest trade partner in Bangladesh while Bangladesh is China's third largest trade partner in South Asia and the third largest project contracting market.
In the context of the global Covid-19 pandemic, the bilateral trade and investment have bucked the trend, fully demonstrating the resilience and vitality of China-Bangladesh cooperation in the crucial period.
According to statistics from China's Ministry of Commerce, from January to June 2021, the trade volume between China and Bangladesh reached $11.18 billion, growing 61.0% year on year.
Among them, the exports of China to Bangladesh have increased by 62.1% up to $10.66 billion while imports from Bangladesh increased by 42.3% up to $520 million.
During the same period, Chinese direct investment in Bangladesh was $270 million, growing 99.6% year on year.
In particular, the priority cooperation projects signed by two sides' governments are being executed in an orderly fashion.
As the largest Chinese enterprise association in Bangladesh, Chinese Enterprises Association in Bangladesh (CEAB) has played important role in promoting the mutual contact and exchanges between Chinese and Bangladesh enterprises, enhancing the understanding and communication between the members and Bangladesh government departments and business communities, thus promoting the economic and trade cooperation between China and Bangladesh.
With the sound development of economic and trade relations between China and Bangladesh, the scale of CEAB is growing rapidly.
As of September 15, 2021, the number of members of the association was 267, including 124 state-owned enterprises and 143 private enterprises.
In August 2021, CEAB held its 7th council general election, and I am honoured to have been elected as President of the seventh council of the Association.
At present, China and Bangladesh are in a critical stage of revitalization and development.
The Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and the "golden Bangladesh" dream coincide with each other.
It is the right time for China and Bangladesh to strengthen economic and trade cooperation in various fields with broad prospects.
However, the worsening Covid-19 pandemic has increased the difficulty and pressure on prevention and control among all countries, seriously hindered individual and business exchanges, and cast a shadow over the recovery of international trade and investment and world economic growth.
At this critical and extraordinary time, it is particularly necessary to deepen cooperation based on strengthening consensus.
In order to further promote the practical economic and trade cooperation between China and Bangladesh in the post-epidemic era, CEAB will hold China-Bangladesh Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum 2021 and the inauguration ceremony of the Seventh Council of CEAB on September 28 in Bangladesh through virtual conference.
This is the first bilateral high-level economic and trade forum held by CEAB during the Covid-19 pandemic, which will be of great significance to enhance communication and understanding between China and Bangladesh business industries, deepen practical cooperation between China and Bangladesh enterprises, and promote the in-depth development of China-Bangladesh economic and trade.
The subject of the forum is “Deepening friendship and overcoming difficulties together to create a new prospect of China-Bangladesh economic and trade cooperation in the post-epidemic era.”
The main topics will cover Bangladesh's economic rebound, trends and outlooks, trade and investment environment in Bangladesh, and the opportunities and challenges in China-Bangladesh economic and trade cooperation in the post-pandemic era.
I hope that, through the successful holding of this forum, China-Bangladesh Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum can be built into a fruitful annual economic and trade event between China and Bangladesh.
The Seventh Council of CEAB will strictly inherit the mission of the association and continue to earnestly perform service functions, strengthen close ties with Bangladesh business, and promote both enterprises to understand their relevant product market situation and trade and investment policy.
Besides, CEAB will further guide Chinese enterprises in Bangladesh to keep foothold in Bangladesh, make contributions to Bangladesh, prevent and control the epidemic properly to inject new impetus into China-Bangladesh economic and trade cooperation in the post-epidemic era for greater development in economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.
The author is president of Chinese Enterprises Association in Bangladesh (CEAB)