Dhaka, Sept 16 (UNB) - Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun on Monday said strategically important Payra seaport will make Bangladesh a major regional trade hub.
He made the remarks while addressing a programme at a city hotel in the evening.
The minister said China continues to provide invaluable support to Bangladesh’s economic development through technical and financial assistance in diverse sectors.
"Currently, our bilateral relations in terms of trade and investment are so strong that it has surpassed all the previous records," he said terming China one of the major development partners of Bangladesh.
He said China is now the largest source of import for Bangladesh and Bangladesh is now China’s third largest export destination in South Asia.
The bilateral trade between Bangladesh and China, which amounted to $12.4 billion in 2017-2018, is expected to reach $18 billion by 2021, Humayun said.
He mentioned that China's USD 38 billion investment in Bangladesh, in combination with USD 24.45 billion in bilateral assistance for infrastructure projects and USD 13.6 billion in joint ventures, has created a new era of strategic partnership between the two countries.
Textiles and Jute Minister Golam Dastagir Gazi, NBR Chairman Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, and Economic and Commercial Counselor, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Bangladesh Liu Zhenhua also spoke at the function with Bangladesh China Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCCI) President Gazi Golam Murtoza in the chair.
The industries minister said the current Awami League government under the pragmatic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has taken numerous initiatives to further boost the thriving economy and promote international trade and investment.
“We’re building a deep seaport, assigning new Economic Zones, constructing power plants and rapidly upgrading our infrastructures to facilitate our industries and to attract foreign investors. Our first-ever Nuclear Power Plant at Rooppur is in progress. We’re revamping our highways and the Padma Bridge construction work is near to finish soon,” he said.
Humayun said the consecutive visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to China in 2010 and 2014 had elevated the relationship to “Closer Comprehensive Partnership of Cooperation”.
He said China's President Xi Jinping's landmark visit to Bangladesh in October, 2016 marked the beginning of a new horizon and a new historical starting point of Bangladesh-China relations.
The minister said the BCCCI has been working proactively for the betterment of bilateral trade and has been providing commendable support to the investors of both the countries.