Bangladesh, China sign 27 deals as President Xi visits Dhaka

Bangladesh and China have signed 27 deals on cooperation in a number of sectors, among which are coastal disaster management and construction of a Karnaphuli tunnel.

Published : 14 Oct 2016, 11:21 AM
Updated : 14 Oct 2016, 11:01 PM

The deals, signed on Friday, altogether relate to 15 agreements and MoUs and 12 loan and mutual agreements, said Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping were present at the signing of the deals at the Prime Minister’s Office. 

Earlier, prior to the signing ceremony, a bilateral meeting between the two leaders took place.

The Bangladesh and Chinese leaders also led their delegations at a meeting of the representatives of the two countries.

At the signing ceremony, Hasina noted that she had a ‘very fruitful’ discussion with Xi on such issues as improving bilateral, regional, and international cooperation.

She then said they had just witnessed the signing of the deals.

Xi said, “We agreed to elevate the relations between China and Bangladesh from a closer comprehensive partnership of cooperation to a strategic partnership of cooperation and to enhance high level exchanges and strategic communication so that our bilateral relations continue to move ahead at a higher level.”

Agreements and MoUs
>> Among these is a cooperation agreement on increasing investment and production capacity building, under which 28 development projects will be infused with $ 21.5 billion in foreign aid. 
>> There is an economic and technical cooperation agreement for $80.3 million grant, $700 million loan agreement for Karnaphuli tunnel construction, $280million credit agreement for Dashekandi Sewerage Treatment Plant project and four more loan deals with regards to six ships.
>> Two framework agreements for constructing Karnaphuli tunnel and Dasherkandi plant.
>> Memoranda of Understanding have been signed, under China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative, for cooperation, maritime cooperation, joint feasibility study on a free-trade area, new ICT framework, counter-terrorism collaboration, capacity building and sharing of information, tackling climate change risks, regional and international cooperation, and cooperation on power and energy sectors. 
>> The foreign secretary has said it will take a few days to know the specific figures of the loan deals

>> The six projects whose plaques were unveiled by Hasina and Xi include the Karnaphuli Multi-Lane Tunnel project in Chittagong, the Confucius Institute at Dhaka University and the Tier-4 National Data Centre in Gazipur’s Kaliakoir, Shahjalal Fertiliser Company Limited in Fenchuganj, a 1320 megawatt thermal power plant in Patuakhali’s Payra and a 1320 MW coal-fired power plant in Chittagong’s Banshkhali.

Sheikh Hasina welcomed the Chinese president when he arrived at the PMO at 3pm. 
Earlier, President Md Abdul Hamid received President Xi Jinping at the airport when the aircraft carrying the Chinese leader touched down just before noon.
This is the first visit by a Chinese President to Bangladesh since 1986, when President Li Xiannian visited Dhaka in March.
Beijing has described the visit as a “milestone” and said President Xi would push forward cooperation within the framework of the ‘One Belt, One Road’. The framework is a Chinese geo-economic initiative pushed by Xi Jinping since 2013.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in an interview with China’s official news agency Xinhua, expressed confidence that the visit would usher in “a new era of intensive cooperation” in trade, investment and other sectors between the two nations.
“We are ready to work with the Bangladeshi side to further deepen our political mutual trust and elevate our relations and practical cooperation to a higher level,” Xi said in a statement to Chinese media at the airport, China Daily reports.