Chinese Ambassador in Dhaka Li Jiming on Wednesday said his country and Bangladesh have made a ‘significant’ progress in joint production of Covid vaccines.
He also said that China is sparing no efforts to supply vaccine to Bangladesh despite growing domestic demand for the jab.A ‘very’ fruitful discussion about the supply of vaccine doses from China is going on to meet Bangladesh's needs, he said.
The ambassador came up with the remarks at a virtual discussion in Dhaka jointly organised by Economic Reporters’ Forum (ERF) and Bangladesh China Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCCI).
The ambassador said Dhaka has already received some 0.5 million doses of vaccines from Beijing as a gift while 0.6 million more doses are likely to arrive by June 13.
Talking about the signing of FTA, he said that it is about time Bangladesh considered the FTA combined with an investment deal between China and Bangladesh, which will help Bangladesh to a large extent to boost its exports to China.
Ambassador Li said China would never forget the assistance when Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina stood by Chinese people by sending medical supplies to China when it was having the most challenging time in the wake of the outbreak of coronavirus.
In response, China provided even more medical supplies to Bangladesh during the pandemic, he added.Li said that both entrepreneurs and businesses of China and Bangladesh suffered a lot during the pandemic as the bilateral trade witnessed a fall of 13.6 percent in 2020.
He, however, termed the attainment of Bangladesh's 6.1 percent GDP growth in the outgoing fiscal year ‘very encouraging’.
The Chinese ambassador said although there is a huge trade imbalance, there would be more exports from Bangladesh to China in days to come.
He hoped that with the implementation of 97 percent zero tariff or duty free and quota free access of 8,256 Bangladeshi products to China, the bilateral trade relations would get a momentum again.
Li said he was fully confident that under the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative, there would be more areas of cooperation in different fields like in 5G communication and high-speed railway.