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Bangladesh close to ink $6bn deal with China

  • Published at 01:35 am August 25th, 2016
  • Last updated at 03:01 pm August 25th, 2016
Bangladesh close to ink $6bn deal with China
The deal is believed to be signed during the upcoming visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping in the second week of October next. “The government has already written to the Chinese government, seeking $6.07 billion for funding six projects,” said an official of the Foreign Ministry. The six projects included construction of a marine drive expressway and coastal protection from Sitakunda to Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar ($2,856.56 million), converting of the middle-gauge rail track into a dual-gauge one from Akhaura to Sylhet ($1,756.05 million), pre-payment meeting project for Bangladesh Power Development Board’s distribution zones ($521.56 million), expansion and modernisation of Mongla Port facilities ($249.17 million) and extension of the existing underground mining operations of Barapukuria coal mine to increase the production capacity of the mine ($256.41 million). A Chinese state-owned company has already agreed to fund and help implement modernisation and expansion facilities at Mongla Port. The Mongla Port Authority and the China National Complete Engineering Corporation signed a memorandum of understanding last year. An Economic Relations Division (ERD) official said China has already given green signal to fund the projects under a limited tender instead of direct procurement method. Bangladesh has already agreed to receive credit under limited tender processing system for the China-funded projects. To accelerate the process, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs recently approved limited tender criteria proposal forwarded by the ERD. Earlier, China wrote to Bangladesh that it will not finance any new Bangladeshi projects unless limited tender processing system for the Chinese firms has not been introduced. Bangladesh government has so far selected Chinese contractors under direct procurement method to implement projects under the Chinese concessional loans and preferential buyer’s credit. Now the bidders would be selected through a limited tender for Chinese-supported projects. Earlier, Bangladesh introduced the limited tendering method for India, which allows only Indian companies to participate in the tender for projects supported with New Delhi’s soft loans of $3 billion.