• Thursday, Feb 27, 2020
  • Last Update : 01:48 pm

Stopping on arrival visas to delay China-funded projects

  • Published at 03:11 pm February 14th, 2020
Newer machine-readable visa issued by Bangladesh High Commission, Canberra Collected

China hoped that people in Bangladesh will not panic but calmly and rationally evaluate the risk

China has called on Chittagong Customs to provide efficient customs clearance facilitation for imports from China and ensuring safety of export inspection and quarantine of goods to promote bilateral trade in this "emergency" period.

"We hope that both sides will continue to maintain sound trade exchanges in goods and services," said the Chinese Embassy in Dhaka in a media release urging the Bangladeshi businessmen to believe in China.

China hoped that people in Bangladesh will not panic but calmly and rationally evaluate the risk, follow the guidelines of health professional authorities such as WHO, avoid overreaction and not follow rumours.

"There is a saying in China which goes that ‘the rumour ends with the wise’. We believe that the people of Bangladesh are the wise," the embassy said.

The Embassy has already issued notices to Chinese citizens and organisations to minimise their travel between China and Bangladesh in the next few weeks.

Embassy's impact assessment on projects

The number of Chinese enterprises in Bangladesh is huge, and the scope of engineering projects is diversified, which have been affected by the epidemic to varying degrees, said the embassy.

Bangladesh has stopped issuing visas on arrival to Chinese citizens, resulting in delay in the return or assignment of some of the design management and construction personnel to the projects, which will have a great negative impact on the projects’ design and construction progress, said the embassy.

Padma Bridge

None of the returnees can return to work on schedule.

Some of them are professional technicians and skilled workers on key construction lines, which will have a great negative impact on the construction progress of the whole bridge.

Payra Thermal Power Plant

About 300 Chinese are unable to return to work on site in time for this project. Professional technical personnel or management personnel are among them.

At present, the project is at a critical stage of execution, and the absence of Chinese personnel will have a certain impact on the safety, quality, technology and progress of project execution.

New tenders

Some new tenders for several substation projects to be submitted for tender of CRRC Ziyang are expected to be released in February and March.

If the tenders are released on time, the Chinese company will not be able to participate in the bidding of the projects if it cannot send people there normally.

The development in China also affected the supply of equipment and material of ongoing projects implemented by Chinese companies in Bangladesh.

Padma Railway Link

This project, being constructed by China Railway Group Limited, which planned to make prefabricated railway sleeper in Wuhan Sleeper Company, is now impeded by the outbreak.

The inventory construction material can only sustain for a while.

Karnaphuli Tunnel

This project, undertaken by China Communications Construction Co Ltd, is facing problems of supply shortage of segments caused by the suspension of manufactures in China, and demands of certain materials and equipment can’t be met either.

S Alam Thermal Power Plant

This project, undertaken by SEPCOIII Electric Power Construction Co Ltd, is facing serious lagging of contractual material and equipment delivery which is impeded by the suspension of manufactures in China during the outbreak and which will probably lead to a disruption in construction.

In addition, some projects such as project of Expansion and Strengthening of Power System Network under DPDC Area, the Dasherkandy Sewage Treatment Plant Project, the Installation of Single Point Mooring with Double Pipeline Project, the Modernization of Telecommunication Network for Digital Connectivity, the Barisal 350 MWThermal Power Plant, the Patuakhali 1320 MWThermal Power Plant,the China-Bangladesh Friendship Exhibition Center, the 8th Bangladesh-China Friendship Bridge and so on, have also been affected adversely, said the embassy.  

With the Chinese personnel’s inability to return from China, the progress of some projects will be delayed, it added.