Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming on Sunday said China will continue supporting Bangladesh's infrastructure development, promoting cooperation to a higher level, and helping Bangladesh materialise its golden Bangladesh dream.
“China has rich experience in infrastructure construction, and its construction efficiency and quality are among the best in the world,” he said while delivering a speech virtually at the formal inauguration of construction work of Cox's Bazar Airport's maritime runway extension into sea. “I believe that under BRI, the prospects for cooperation between the two countries in the field of transportation infrastructure are very promising,” said the Chinese envoy.
Civil Aviation and Tourism and the executing agency Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh and the contractor’s representatives.
State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Md Mahbub Ali graced the occasion physically. “Works are underway to transform Cox’s Bazar Airport into a regional aviation hub,” he told the inaugural function.
Secretary of the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism Md Mokammel Hossain and CAAB chairman Air Vice Narshal M Mafidur Rahman also spoke at the inauguration programme.
Li Jiming said, “Bangladesh is the first country in South Asia to join the Belt and Road Initiative, as you known as “BRI”, next to the decisive leadership and extraordinary vision of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, our two countries have carried out comprehensive and successful cooperation under the BRI, particularly the field of infrastructure development.”
He said the year of 2021 witnesses the 46th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Bangladesh and China.
He said this project will advance for sure the China-Bangladesh cooperation with regards to infrastructure development. He said the project that was inaugurated on Sunday by the Prime Minister is the key step that will promote Cox’s Bazar to become an international metropolis.
After the completion of the project, all the giant aircrafts to take off and land on the coastal runway, and this will boost the development of the Cox’s Bazar and neighbouring regions, the Chinese ambassador added.
The ambassador described Cox’s Bazar as an attractive coastal city which he visited a couple of times. "It has long natural coastal lines and very beautiful scenery. It has the potential to become a world famous vacation resort to attract tourists from all over the world."
"Today is indeed a joyous day as the successful launching of this project marks a new level of cooperation in the transport infrastructure development sector between China and Bangladesh," he said, adding that it marks a milestone for Cox’s Bazar Airport on its way to becoming an international airport.
Speaking about the Project Contractor China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) and Changjiang Yichang Waterway Engineering Bureau (CYWEB), the ambassador said in the past 40 years, both companies have been engaged in a large number of construction projects around the world.
“With its sound technical capacity and extensive experiences, I believe that CCECC and CYWEB will fulfil its mission and deliver a satisfactory result to the Bangladeshi government and people by completing the project on time and with high quality.”
At the same time, he said CCECC and CYWEB will surely contribute to the local people's livelihood by granting employment opportunities to the local workforces.
The project is mainly set to extend the existing runway by 1700 feet through land reclamation by dredgers so as to accommodate domestic and international travels for the country’s most tourism destination, Cox’s Bazar.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) inked the contract with the Chinese joint venture of CYWEB and CCECC on February 9, 2021.
Talking to the Daily Sun, Yang Zhijun, managing director of CCECC Bangladesh Ltd, said they are optimistic about opportunities ahead offered by the post-pandemic economic rebound in Bangladesh.
He said CCECC is to set up its South Asia Regional Office in Bangladesh and continue to contribute its international engineering and financing services to Bangladesh for contributing to the materialisation of the Golden Bangla Dream.
Cox’s Bazar Runway Extension Project is the first maritime runway Project in Bangladesh where the Chinese joint venture is committed to implement in an efficient manner with the proper utilisation of their technical know-how and extensive experiences.
CCECC, as an ENR-listed global contractor with huge business network in 105 countries and regions, is expertised in the airport facility construction and dredging and marine works, he added.
The company has deepened its root in dredging and marine industry through execution of 3 land reclamation contracts in Mirsarai Economic Zone and dredging at the outer bar area and inner bar area of Mongla Port Channel, and is en route to become the second largest dredging company in Bangladesh with its involvement in Extension of Runway at Cox’s Bazar Airport Project with the largest dredging fleet in the market.
CCECC is recently engaged in ADB-funded construction of new Dual Gauge Single Railway Line from Dohazari to Cox’s Bazar via Ramu LOT-2 and is pursuing Joydevpur to Ishurdi Double Line Railway Project on G-G basis under the Bangladesh Railway.