Dhaka – Bangladesh and China have agreed to elevate their relations to a broader strategic partnership of cooperation with signing more than two dozens of pacts for cooperation.
The deals, altogether relate to 12 loan and framework agreements, were signed after official talks between Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Dhaka.
Two sides inked 15 memorandum of understanding to further bolster the different areas of mutual interests. The deals were for enhancing cooperation in the areas of infrastructure development, energy and power, transportation and agriculture among others.
Both Chinese and Bangladeshi top leaders witnessed the signing of the documents, also related to counterterrorism efforts and maritime cooperation, at the Prime Minister’s Office.
“We agreed to elevate China-Bangladesh relationship from a closer comprehensive partnership to broader strategic partnership of cooperation to increase high level exchanges and strategic communications,” said Xi after the official talks.
“…Our bilateral relations would continue to move ahead at a higher level,” he hoped.
Xi, the first Chinese president to visit Bangladesh in 30 years, was received by Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid at Dhaka’s airport in the morning.
China will strengthen practical cooperation in key areas such as infrastructure, production capacity, energy and power, transportation, ICT and agriculture, said the Chinese leader.
Both sides agreed to launch joint feasibility study on a China Bangladesh FTA to strengthen trade and investment cooperation, said the Chinese leader.
“China will continue to do its best to provide capital, technological and human resources to carry out more cooperation on big projects with Bangladesh to support its economic and social development,” he said.
The Chinese President designated 2017 as the “year of exchange and friendship” between the two nationals.
“We agreed to establish and carry out institutionalized cooperation in areas such maritime affairs and counter terrorism, jointly advance the BCIM economic corridor and increase communications and coordination on international and regional issues of shared interest,” Xi Jinping said.
Prime Minister Hasina said that she had a successful meeting with the Chinese leader.
“Through signing the agreements, we reached a consensus to work together in trade and investment and other key areas such as infrastructure, agriculture, energy and power, ICT and transportation,” she said.
Bangladesh considers Xi’s visit to be a milestone in relations between the two countries since they established diplomatic ties in 1975.
It is the first visit to Bangladesh by a Chinese president since Li Xiannian came to Dhaka in 1986.
Xi, who visited Bangladesh as vice president in June 2010, had meeting with former prime minister Khaleda Zia and parliamentary Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury.