Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi has laid importance on further strengthening and expanding the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and China, especially in the areas of trade and commerce.
“There’s no doubt that China is a great friend of Bangladesh and they have long been supporting us in our development initiatives and playing a vital role in implementing megaprojects,” he said.
The commerce minister said China is the largest supplier of machinery and goods to Bangladesh while it is also Bangladesh’s largest trade partner.
Bangladesh China Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCCI) and the ERF jointly hosted the event where the Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming spoke virtually as special guest.
BCCCI President Gazi Golam Murtoza chaired the event while its secretary-general Md Shahjahan Mridha Benu and ERF general secretary SM Rashidul Islam delivered the welcome remarks. ERF President Sharmeen Rinvy also spoke.
BCCCI joint secretary general Al Mamun Mridha moderated the function. He noted that BCCCI would continue to sponsor the award programme in the future and also would provide fellowships to ERF members.
Mentioning that trade and commerce play a very significant role in global politics, Tipu Munshi said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina always instructs Bangladesh missions abroad to prioritize trade relations with different countries to boost exports.
The commerce minister said Bangladesh enjoys almost half of its global financial relationship with China and it really means a lot for the country.
Speaking virtually, Chinese Ambassador Li Jiming said Bangladesh has made remarkable achievements on the economic front and also in different socio-economic fields over the last 50 years while the country attained the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) ahead of schedule.
“I’m also sure Bangladesh is going to graduate from the LDCs by 2026 and also could be among the top 25 economies by 2030,” he said.
Referring to the issue of development cooperation, the Chinese Envoy said everyone should keep in mind the new industrial revolution which is gaining momentum with the emergence of new business models and digital economy.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has provided new opportunities to leapfrog developing countries like Bangladesh,” he said.
Ambassador Li Jiming said Bangladesh is an important participant of the Belt and Road Initiative and it was also the first country to join this program.
He also invited Bangladeshi businesses and the commerce minister to take part in the upcoming China International Import Exposition and the Canton Fair in China.
Later, the commerce minister along with the guests distributed awards among the 10 best reporters in 10 different categories. Each of the recipients received a crest, a certificate and a cheque of Tk 50,000.
The award recipients are 1. Bilateral business relations: Abul Kashem, the Business Standard; 2: Investment of Chinese state-run companies in major infrastructure projects in Bangladesh, Shakhawat Hossain, the New Age; 3: Chinese private sector investment in Bangladesh: Ahsan Habib, the Daily Star; 4: Bangladesh’s private sector’s growing ties with Chinese companies: Mousumi Islam, Alokito Bangladesh; 5: Life of Chinese investors and their workers in Bangladesh and the small businesses they have set up here: Jasim Uddin Haroon, the Financial Express; 6: Challenges facing booming Bangladesh-China relationships: Late AZM Anas, the Financial Express: 7: China as a destination of higher education for thousands of Bangladeshi students: Babu Kamruzzaman, News24; 8: Bangladesh-China private and public sector ties in the health sector, especially in the coronavirus pandemic and post pandemic scenarios, Alamgir Hossain, Jamuna Television; 9: Bangladesh-China private and public sector ties in tourism, hospitality and cultural sectors, Tahidul Islam, Gazi Television; 10: geo-economics/economic diplomacy, particularly focusing Bangladesh and China: Masuduzzaman Robin, Jamuna Television.