China implements $10b worth of infrastructure projects in Bangladesh, says ambassador

China has begun implementing $10 billion worth of infrastructure projects in Bangladesh, said Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Zhang Zuo here on Wednesday at his first press conference since taking office.

 “Under the joint efforts of the two governments and companies from both countries, a group of cooperation projects are being implemented, including the Chinese Economic and Industrial Zone, Payra Power Plant, the 8th China Bangladesh Friendship Bridge, and the International Exhibition Center, with a total investment of over $10 billion,” said the ambassador. These projects will improve infrastructure, the trade and investment environment, and people’s livelihood, and play a positive role in the economic and social development of Bangladesh, Zhang added.

“China welcomes all countries to take a fast ride on our economic development, as well as advantageous, distinctive, and competitive goods and services to enter the huge market in China,” Zhang said, noting that China welcomes Bangladesh to further increase its participation under the Belt and Road Initiative. “We welcome Bangladeshi enterprises to take advantages of all platforms, such as China-South Asia Expo, the China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair) and China International Import Expo to promote trade with China. We will also encourage more capable enterprises to invest in Bangladesh, and help upgrade the manufacturing of Bangladesh,” Zhang said.

“It is beneficial not only for decreasing the trade deficit but also for the balance of economic and trade cooperation as a whole,” he said. He also said China has implemented a flexible, practical visa policy for Bangladeshi citizens who want to go to China for the purposes of business and cultural exchange. “In 2017, the (Chinese) embassy issued nearly fifty thousand visas, an increase of 22 percent on a year-on-year basis, to meet the demand of Bangladeshi side,” Zhang said.