Chinese investors want removal of trade barriers, including tax, customs and visa complexity, to boost trade and investment in Bangladesh, Commercial Counsellor at the Embassy of China Song Yang said on Saturday.
He made the call while speaking at a seminar on ‘Stakeholder Consultation with Chinese Investors: Challenges, Expectations and Prospects’ at Bangabandhu Bangladesh-China Friendship Exhibition Centre (BCFEC) at Purbachal.
The seminar was held at Belt and Road Initiative in Bangladesh Exhibition-2023 which opened on Friday. The Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Bangladesh in collaboration with Bangladesh-China Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCCI) and Chinese Enterprises Association in Bangladesh (CEAB) organised the three-day exhibition.
The exhibition is featuring the products and constructs of infrastructure, ICT, textiles, trade, and investment-based top companies from China and Bangladesh.
“China and Bangladesh have been maintaining good relationship for long. Such an exhibition creates a new hope for us. It is a platform to highlight the collaborative spirit between the two nations,” Song Yang said.
He added that Chinese president Xi Jinping launched the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2013. It’s now fruitful.
“Our strong support and cooperation will continue for Bangladesh,” he also pointed out.
While speaking as the chief guest, BIDA Executive Member (Additional Secretary) Avijit Chowdhury urged Chinese investors to invest in Bangladesh as its investment climate is good.
“Bangladesh will graduate from LDC status by 2026. So, we have to face a lot of challenges. We need more foreign direct investment particularly from China in technology and labour skill development to compete with 4IR,” he added.
Avijit said they are working to ensure compliance in factories. “No accident will occur in future in Bangladesh. So, we ensure full security for foreign investors. It is the best time to invest in Bangladesh,” he also said.
He urged all investors to come to BIDA if they face any problems investing in the country.
Speaking there, BCCCI Secretary General Al Mamun Mridha said they have tirelessly worked towards fostering stronger economic relations between two friendly nations.
“Our members are engaged in all areas of trade and investment in Bangladesh including many state-owned companies responsible for the mega projects, especially projects under the BRI,” he added.
“Our mission has been to create a congenial environment for bilateral trade and investment. The journey has been marked by hard work, dedication, and the tireless pursuit of excellence.”
“This year also marks the 20th anniversary of BCCCI. We started our journey back in 2003 when bilateral trade between Bangladesh and China was worth $1.4 billion. Today it is worth almost $25 billion. Investments have also increased significantly over the past 10 years from $26 million in 2013 to over $465.2 million in 2022 in the private sector,” he informed.
He added that back in 2016 over $40 billion was promised to Bangladesh as part of BRI initiative.
Already almost $5 billion has been disbursed and many projects have already been implemented, some mega projects are about to be inaugurated and works of some projects are ongoing fast.
These projects have improved the quality of life for Bangladeshi people and made it significantly easier to achieve our millennium goal. BCCCI has acted as the strongest catalyst for this huge growth of these trade and investments.
CEAB president Ke Changliang and BCCCI president Gazi Golam Murtoza, among others, also spoke at the program.