Dhaka, Sept 5 (UNB) – The China-Europe freight train service carrying containers from both ends is gaining popularity as China has made direct rail service a major feature of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) encouraging other BRI countries to follow suit, officials said.
“Some 1400 cargo trains departed from Urumqi to European destinations since the introduction of this service back in 2016,” Deputy Manager of China-Europe Cargo Train Realignment Centre Nan Jun told UNB.
He said this service that connected European countries and 42 cities helped reduce cost and time benefiting all those connected with the service.
The China-Europe freight trains carry containers of auto parts, engineering equipment, and daily essentials leave Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
The train will travel through Xinjiang's Alataw Pass and stop at a port in Kazakhstan where the containers will be transferred to ships which are bound for Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan.
“We’re trying to improve the efficiency of the cargo train service to further cut the cost and time making the service smoother,” Nan Jun said.
A study commissioned by the International Union of Railways estimates that China-Europe rail service could double their share of trade by volume over the next decade.
Barely a decade ago, officials said, regular direct freight service from China to Europe did not exist but today they can connect some 35 Chinese cities with 34 European ones.
Rail service is considerably cheaper than air’s, and faster than water’s, they said.
Carriers on air, rail, road and waterways carried a total of 27.54 billion tonnes of cargo in the first seven months, up 6.8 percent year on year, according to data of the Chinese government.
China-Eurasia Expo sees deals worth $39bn
The sixth China-Eurasia Expo that ended in Urumqi, the northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on September 1, witnessed deals worth around $ 39.66 bn, according to Chinese government data.
Chemical engineering, energy and environmental protection, culture and tourism, new material and others were the areas where cooperation deals were signed during the three-day expo.
On the other hand, 25 major companies from Xinjiang have signed 29 agreements with companies from 13 countries along the Belt and Road, which are worth 10.48 billion yuan.
Participants from 35 countries and regions attended the expo with a total of 704 companies, including 27 corporations on the Fortune Global 500.
The previous expo saw $ 18 billion worth of contracts signed between Chines and foreign companies.
Jhalakathi, September 4 (UNB) – After several years of relatively dull business, hundreds of fruit growers in the district’s guava-rich zones in the district are elated this year at the prospect of a bumper production of the tropical fruit.
Scores of buyers now flock the region’s Bhimruli floating market for purchasing guavas in bulk every day from day break to noon.
It has also attracted the attention of local and international tourists who keep the floating guava market as a must-see place in their tour itinerary.
The farmers load their produces on a boat in the wee hours of dawn everyday and sell them off in the market.
This year, a maund (forty kilograms) of guavas cost somewhere between Tk 250-500, stabilising a market which was in slump for the past decade.
Farmers said government’s initiative of linking Bhimruli Bazar with local growth centres through better road infrastructures paved way for improved shipments of locally grown guavas. Now they are able to meet the demands of Dhaka, Khulna and Sylhet region easily thanks to implementation of a Tk. 5 crore road developments.
The local agriculture department acknowledged the recent success story and added that guavas this year were planted in twelve villages, spanning over 500 hectares.
This has brought them Tk 2.5-3 crore in revenue.
A survey is underway for setting up of a cold storage by the Industries Ministry. Currently a rest house and public washrooms are being constructed for tourists.
Dhaka, Sept 4 (UNB) – Banks are not unfamiliar to unscrupulous borrowers who tend to secure loans by offering same piece of land property as collateral from multiple lenders.
A tricky situation arises when a certain bank wants to seize collateral to recoup its losses from defaulting borrower and suddenly finds out that multiple lenders have the lien on the same asset. This happens mostly because of forgery by unscrupulous borrowers.
A simple way to get rid of such fraudulence can be maintaining a repository of data on mortgaged lands so that debtors cannot use the same property over and over again in securing loans from multiple creditors.
And Bangladesh’s central bank is now doing this to check collateral fraudulence, said officials.
Bangladesh Bank is now in the process of completing a data repository in the form of an ‘information bank’ which will act as deterrent if anyone tries to avail loans from different lenders showing the same land.
Recently, Bangladesh Bank has sent a letter to the Finance Ministry in this connection informing that the information bank will be ready to use by March, 2019.
Earlier, the Finance Minister in a letter asked the Bangladesh Bank to inform the Ministry about the development of the introduction of information bank to stop collateral forgery.
Bangladesh Bank has informed that the initiation work of the software of the information bank has been completed and collection of collateral information from various banks and financial institutions are on.
After getting necessary hardware it will be transformed to the software system and it will be tested then to see its performance.
The software of the collateral information system is likely to be delivered by this month.
After getting the software of the collateral information system it will take six months to finish the preparatory activities by the Credit Information Bureau (CIB).
Meanwhile, the central bank has also informed the Finance Ministry that the rules under Bangladesh Bank Order 1972 needed to be amended for opening the collateral-related information for the mass people.
As per the Sections 46 (1) and 46 (2) of the Bangladesh Bank Order 1972, the central bank cannot open the information to all except the names of banks and the names of borrowers.
As per Section 46 (3) this type of information can be delivered openly at the parliament. No Court, Tribunal or any other authority can compel the Bangladesh Bank to publish the information which is kept in the CIB database.
The central bank in the letter observed that to make the CIB information public, the Bangladesh Bank Order 1972 has to be amended.
AKM Moinuddin, Back from Xinjiang, China
Dhaka, Sept 3 (UNB) – China has said the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping, is not only for the development of China but it is also an answer for the common destination of human being through stronger partnership and broader connectivity among countries along the Belt and Road.
Describing massive development in the largest region Xinjiang, China has also said they have made a lot of achievements in terms of social stability in the region that the international media should see with an eye of “objective understanding”.
“We’ve made a lot of achievements. Terrorism, separatist and religious extremist ideas, these aren’t only the problems of China but these are also the common problems all over the world,” Vice Director of the Information Office of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Ailit Shaliyefu told UNB.
He said China is making the best use of Xinjiang’s geographic advantages and its role as a window of westward opening-up to deepen communication and cooperation with Central, South and West Asian countries.
Xinjiang works as a key transportation, trade, logistics, culture, science and education centre, and a core area on the Silk Road Economic Belt.
During Xi’s historic visit, Bangladesh formally joined the 'Belt and Road Initiative', a drive which has already drawn the close attention of the world.
Responding to a question, the senior Chinese official said the global problems of separatists, religious extremists and terrorism could be solved under the framework of common destination of human being.
Vice Director of the Information Office of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Ailit Shaliyefu. Photo: UNB
“We know we also have some problems. However, we believe all the problems will be fixed in the future and the situation will even be better,” Ailit said.
He said some of the information China’s foreign friends hear about Xinjiang are “misleading or false, even biased ones.” “You’ve visited here; you saw what’s really happening here. You can continuously pay attention what’s happening here to have an objective understanding of Xinxiang.”
Xinjiang, the resource-blessed largest region of China, is bordered by eight countries -- Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India -- with a borderline of more than 5600 kilometres.
Responding to a question, Ailit said they believe other common problems of countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt, component of the Belt and Road Initiative, will be resolved by not a single country but by all.
He hoped that more international cities and cosmopolitans along this belt and road will prosper just because of connections and connectivity.
The Belt and Road Initiative aims to promote the connectivity of Asian, European and African continents and their adjacent seas, set up all-dimensional, multi-tiered and composite connectivity networks, and realise diversified, independent, balanced and sustainable development in these countries.
Responding to a question, the official said they will be taken into custody as per the laws of China if anybody breaks that. “If anybody is misled or cheated by evil force, we’ll educate them and bring them back to society after correction.”
Ailit said awareness campaign and education for better understanding over religion are going on in every educational institution to help young people have better and deep understanding so that they are not misled or cheated. “It’s important to have the correct understanding of religion and history.”
He said separatist forces in and out of China, and some international organisations tried to destroy stability in Xinjiang as ‘some countries wished to do so’.
The official said about 200 billion Yuan were invested in Xingjian in 2017 which is much more than other places in China.
At the end of current year, officials said, the first line of the six-lane 100-km subway will be opened to public which covers 20 km inside the Urumqi city.
The Chinese government officials say these examples show the “unprecedented opportunities” for Xinxiang with support from China’s central government.
According to Chinese government sources, high-speed trains from Urumqi to Beijing will be opened to public soon, which was designed to reach Beijing from Urumqi by 15-16 hours.
Responding to a question, Ailit said Xingjian is so rich in terms of electricity generation -- wind power, solar energy, hydro power and coal power.
From January to July this year, some 75 million tourists visited Xinxiang and by the end of this year, the Chinese Tourism Bureau, is expecting to receive more than 100 million tourists.
Ailit said development of tourism requires stability of society and Xingjian can attract more and more tourists just because of that stability.
“I believe some of the journalists from countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt may have better understanding about great changes in their countries. We also have witnessed great changes in this area. However, some media may not be very happy about this initiative,” he said.
Xinjiang is a multi-ethnic area and a region of rich cultural resources and there are 56 ethnic groups living in the vast land of Xinjiang, with a population of nearly 21.81 million, according to Chinese government data.
In Xinjiang, there are 13 native inhabitants, namely Uygur, Han, Kazak, Hui, Mongolian, Kirgiz, Xibo, Manchu, Tajik, Uzbek, Daur, Tatar and Russian.
Dhaka, Sept 3 (UNB) – As part of its Power System Master Plan (PSMP) 2016, the government is going to implement 10 mega projects of about 15,000 MW of capacity by 2030.
Director General of Power Cell Mohammad Hossain who is involved in chalking out the plan said the government has already initiated a move to implement the plan as per its vision to raise electricity production to 40,000 MW by 2030 and 60,000 MW by 2041.
However, the government’s main focus in the existing plan is on raising the electricity production to 24,000 MW by 2021 when the country will be celebrating its Golden Jubilee at 50th year of independence, said the Power Cell chief.
Power Cell, a technical wing of the Power Division, has been entrusted with the responsibility to prepare the PSMP and other power-related plans to ensure coordination among power sector entities.
Of the 15,000 MW of power, officials said, 11,000 MW will come from nine projects of Power and Energy Ministry while 4,000 MW from nuclear power plant under the Ministry of Science and Technology.
They said implementation of three of nine mega projects under the Power and Energy Ministry have already started while the first phase of 2,400 MW of the 4,000MW nuclear power started by the Ministry of Science and Technology.
These are 1320 MW Moittri Super Thermal Power Project taken by Bangladesh-India Joint Venture with a target to implement it by 2019 in Rampal, 1200 MW Materbari Coal-based Power Plant of Coal Power General Company Bangladesh Ltd (CPGCBL) in Cox’s Bazar being financed by JICA with a targeted implementation time of 2021 and the 1320 MW Paira Coal-based Power Pant taken by Bangladesh-China JV.
According to the officials, the remaining seven mega projects are now at different stages of implementation although their physical works could not yet be started because of non-settlement of funding and some other technical issues.
These are 1320 MW Pekua power plant of EGCB-MITSUI joint venture (Targeted implementation time 2023), PDB’s 1200 MW Moheshkhali coal-fired power (2024), 1320 MW Moheshkhali coal-fired power plant with an implementation target of 2022, 1320 MW Ashuganj power plant (2021), 1200 MW coal-fired power plant of CPGCL-SEMCROP (2023) and LNG-based combined cycle power plant of Reliance Group of India (2023).
The remaining 1600 MW nuclear power plant has been targeted by the Ministry of Science and Technology to implement by 2030.