State Minister Shahriar lists areas where Bangladesh seeks China’s support

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam has presented a list of what Bangladesh seeks from China which is “a friend and partner with huge potentials”.

Published : 3 Oct 2016, 05:52 PM
Updated : 3 Oct 2016, 06:25 PM

Speaking at a seminar at the Bangladesh Enterprise Institute ahead of the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s short visit in Dhaka on Oct 14, he said on Monday Bangladesh had always been in “staunch support” for the core issues of China, including the ‘one China’ policy.

“We are planning to pair our resources and our legitimate economic ambitions with the rise of China,” he said.

Chinese Ambassador Ma Mingqiang hoped that the visit would take the Dhaka-Beijing relations to “a new height”.

The state minister‘s list:

First, Funds –for project financing and substantive investment at low cost.

Second, Technology – both for upgrading the existing industry, such as, in the Jute/Viscos sector, fishing, and also for creating advanced architectures in technology-oriented economic activities, such as ICT – particularly, IC/chip/transistor fabrication, relocation of industries, deep sea fishing and resources harvesting, agriculture and farming, etc.

Third, management skills, for efficiency and international operations.

Fourth, Market Access and Brand Equity, for securing higher premiums and assured ascending returns from existing and conceived business verticals.

“We highly appreciate provision of duty free access to more Bangladeshi products to China. However, please note that Bangladesh enjoys duty free and quota free access of 4,721 items to the Chinese market since July 1 in 2010 under the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA).

“We had requested China to include 17 more items in the APTA list in November 2012.

“In response, we have been offered replacement of existing APTA by “China’s 95 percent zero tariff treatment” arrangement covering 7,787 products.

“Now, although the arrangement for LDCs covers relatively a much wider range of items and even includes 15 out of 17 new items for which we seek duty free access, Para-3 & 5 of the instrument implies that the products not wholly-obtained or wholly-produced in the beneficiary country shall be subject to ‘ad valorem’ at the rate not less than 40 percent.

“We think that this provision might make it difficult to avail zero-tariff advantage for many of our products that are presently enjoying duty exemption under APTA.”

Fifth, capabilities to build on existing platforms in defence, in agriculture, in industry, in communication, in water resources - primarily river training and flood management.

The state minister said Bangladesh also wants to reduce the huge trade gap which is almost eight billion dollar.