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Friendship with Baวอลเล ย บอล ไทย 25 พ.ค.60ngladesh to be further bolstered

y upsurge | วอลเล ย บอล ไทย 25 พ.ค.60 | Updated: 2024-07-23 12:40:16

A train enters the Dohazari-Cox's Bazar railway station in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, in November. The Dohazari-Cox's Bazar railway, jointly built by Chinese companies and Bangladesh's Max Group, was inaugurated on Nov 11 to bolster connectivity in the country. XINHUA

The friendship between China and Bangladesh is expected to be enhanced after the two countries established a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership on Wednesday during the latter's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to Beijing, experts say.

The visit, at the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Qiang, is "a renewal of all the excellent relations of cooperation and friendship" between the two countries, said Munshi Faiz Ahmad, Bangladesh's former ambassador to China.

Ahmad stressed the significance of Hasina's visit, her first to China since her new term began in January, and five years after her last visit to the country, saying Bangladesh's cooperation and friendship with China are continuously improving.

" (Bangladesh-China) cooperation has always been based on mutual benefit, mutual respect and mutual trust," Ahmad said. "When countries in the region continue to prosper and do well, it is always a positive thing for regional peace and stability."

Mustafizur Rahman, a distinguished fellow at the Centre for Policy Dialogue in Bangladesh's capital Dhaka, said the Bangladesh-China relationship "is one of our defining partnerships".

In the 49 years since establishing diplomatic ties, China and Bangladesh have achieved significant cooperation in various fields.

China has been Bangladesh's biggest trading partner for 13 consecutive years, and as of last year, Chinese investments in Bangladesh totaled $3.2 billion, ranking China as the country's second-largest source of foreign investment.

According to the Chinese embassy, nearly 1,000 Chinese companies operate in Bangladesh, creating more than 550,000 job opportunities.

Bangladesh is keen to attract Chinese investment, Rahman said, adding that he believes a special economic zone for Chinese investors and a free-trade agreement between the two countries will be conducive to Bangladesh's economy.

In 2016, Bangladesh was the first country in South Asia to join China's Belt and Road Initiative.

Rahman said Bangladesh is also interested in key projects such as the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor, investment and trade and technology transfer.

Shahab Enam Khan, a professor of the Department of International Relations at the Jahangirnagar University in Dhaka, said not only will Bangladesh profit from Chinese investment, but other regional countries will also benefit from the shared economic effect and infrastructure connectivity.

"The Bangladesh-China relationship should not be seen through the myopic prism of geopolitics," Khan said. "It should be seen through the prism of development and growth of the 170 million population in Bangladesh."

People who criticize Bangladesh for falling into the "debt trap" of China need to see Bangladesh's growth momentum, Khan said.

Bilateral relationship will continue to grow because of common economic and market interests, Khan added.

Abdus Salam Aref, president of the Association of Travel Agents of Bangladesh, said he hopes to see more investment from China in the tourism sector.

In May, ATAB co-organized a "China Tourism Day" promotion event. Aref said an increasing number of people in Bangladesh are becoming more interested in traveling to China.

During Hasina's visit, the two countries agreed to designate next year as the "China-Bangladesh Year of People-to-People Exchanges".

Aref said people-to-people exchanges between Bangladesh and China will further grow with improved connectivity and more business cooperation.

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