Information Minister Hasanul Huq Inu on Wednesday said that Bangladesh's increasing engagement with China would not affect Bangladesh's relationship with other countries including India, USA and Europe.
The minister was speaking as the chief guest at a seminar on the implications of Bangladesh's growing relationship with China at the city's CIRDAP auditorium.
"On the contrary," he said "In this age of increased globalization, regionalism was a bulwark of protection of national interest."
"They are sprouting all over the place: BIMSTEC, BCIM, ASEAN-- there are scores of them all over the world and in our neighborhood, too," he added.
"In fact, it is the survival kit that helps one in the turbulent waters of world trade, "he said.
For an emerging economy like Bangladesh with its huge population and strategic location there is a "window of opportunity" as the Chinese market opens up and they relocate their industrial over-capacity, overseas.
"Bangladesh along with 10/11 countries ranks just below the BRICS countries as a preferred destination for trade and investment," the minister said.
"In the past we were an aid-dependant country, later we became a trade-dependant country, now we are an investment-dependant country," Inu said.
Chaired by Golam Dastagir Gazi, MP and also president of Bangladesh-China Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCCI), others who spoke at the seminar, included Dr Mustafizur Rahman, Executive Director, Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD), Dr M M Akash of Dhaka University, Dr Salehuddin Ahmed, Adjunct Professor of Economics, BRAC University and Brigadier General (Retd) Shah Md Sultan Uddin Iqbal, NDC, PSC, PhD and also vice president, BCCI.
The speakers said that Bangladesh-China relationship had reached a "strategic" level now and that investment had sky-rocketed from a mere 1.5 billion US dollars in 40 years to a pledge of 30 billion US dollars, this year.
"We need to appreciate the changing scenario," they said.