Friday, 1 July, 2022

China wants to open bank in Bangladesh: Envoy

Ambassador of China Li Jiming to Bangladesh wants to see a Chinese commercial bank in Bangladesh which he thinks will help to foster financial cooperation between the two nations.

He urged the Bangladesh government to facilitate setting up a Chinese commercial bank in Bangladesh.

“When I first arrived here, I was surprised to see there is no Chinese bank in Bangladesh. I hope that leaders, business leaders will help to set up a Chinese bank in Bangladesh,” said Li Jiming said while addressing a meeting in Dhaka on Wednesday.

Bangladesh China Chamber of Commerce and Industries (BCCCI) and Research and Policy Integration for Development (RAPID) jointly organised the seminar styled as “Making the most of market access in China: What needs to be done?”

Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi was the chief guest while Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming and Export Promotion Buro Vice Chairman AHM Ahsan were the special guests on the occasion.

BCCCI president Gazi Golam Murtaza chaired the session. Acting General Secretary Al Mamun Mridha delivered the address of welcome.

RAPID chairman Dr Mohammad Abdur Razzaque made a keynote presentation in the session conducted by RAPID executive director Dr Abu Eusuf.

The envoy told the meeting that the Chinese economic zone in Chattogram is awaiting the government approval as the infrastructure is ready to accommodate industries.  

He said, “Bangladesh has potentials in agriculture, livestock and fisheries. The two countries need to strengthen financial cooperation and facilitate trade and commerce.”

Ambassador Li Jiming hoped that Bangladesh would become a member of RCEP and boost its international trade in cooperation with the neighbouring countries.

Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a proposed agreement between the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its free trade agreement (FTA) partners.

In his speech, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said the government is working together with its Chinese counterpart to reduce the trade gap between the two countries.

“We are looking for a possible area of free trade agreement for long term relationship in bilateral trade. It will create a win-win situation for both sides,” he said.

The minister urged the local businesses to focus on branding as the young generation in China is adopting branded products in their changing lifestyle.

In his presentation, RAPID chairman Dr Razzaque said China belongs to the second largest economy of the world with a volume of $20 trillion where the import size is $ 2.7 trillion.

“If Bangladesh can meet only 1 percent of the Chinese import needs, our export earnings will stand at $27 billion from one single market. We need to gradually focus on different cities of the country,” he said.

BCCCI president Gazi Golam Murtaza said Bangladesh is lucky to get China as a development partner which becomes the world's second largest economy.

“We need to focus on export diversification to tap the potentials of the Chinese market. The country has announced duty waivers for Bangladeshi products,” he said. China declared to grant duty-free access to 98 percent of Bangladeshi products including 383 new products, especially leather and leather-made goods.