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Bangladesh, China Boost Ties, Sign 21 Agreements - PM Hasina Meets Xi

Bangladesh and China signed 21 agreements and announced new projects to deepen their strategic partnership, including a free trade agreement and investment treaty.

Bangladesh, China Boost Ties, Sign 21 Agreements - PM Hasina Meets Xi

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina met President Xi Jinping and her Chinese counterpart Li Qiang here on Wednesday as the two countries signed 21 agreements, and announced seven more projects to further elevate their strategic cooperative ties.

China also said it is willing to take the 50th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic relations next year as an opportunity to deepen the high-quality joint construction of the ‘Belt and Road' projects among other things, China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Among the new projects announced were the ‘Conclusion of Joint Feasibility Study on China-Bangladesh Free Trade Agreement' and ‘Commencement of Negotiation on the Optimisation of China-Bangladesh Bilateral Investment Treaty'.

During the meetings, both countries agreed to elevate their "strategic partnership" to a "comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership,” Bangladesh's state-run news agency Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) reported.

China will help Bangladesh economically in four ways by giving grants, interest-free loans, concessional loans and commercial loans, the Chinese President said during the bilateral meeting with Hasina, it said.

Xinhua reported that China supports Bangladesh in adhering to an independent foreign policy, taking a development path that suits its national conditions, safeguarding national sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and opposing any external interference.

Foreign Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud, while briefing the newspersons about the outcome of the meeting said, the Chinese President agreed for a technical committee from both the countries to sit together to decide how the four types of financial assistance will be given to Bangladesh to support its development.

The technical committee from China will soon visit Bangladesh,” he said.

Mahmud said, the Chinese President raised the Rohingya issue well before the Bangladesh Prime Minister raised it and said, “Xi Jinping promised to play an important role in resolving the Rohingya problem by holding talks with the Myanmar government and Arakan army.”

The two sides should hold the ‘China-Bangladesh Year of People-to-People Exchange' next year to promote exchanges and cooperation in the fields of culture, tourism, media, sports and other fields between the two countries.

Giving out details about the Li-Hasina meeting, BSS said the agreements were inked in the presence of Hasina and Li after the delegation-level talks between the two countries.

The bilateral talks mainly featured the Rohingya issue, business, trade and commerce, investments, and bilateral relations alongside various regional and international matters.

The instruments on cooperation in the economic and banking sector, trade and investment, digital economy, infrastructure development, assistance in disaster management, construction of 6th and 9th Bangladesh-China friendship bridges, export of agricultural products from Bangladesh and people-to-people connectivity were signed, the BSS report said.

Among the signed instruments are the ‘MoU on Strengthening Investment Cooperation in the Digital Economy'; MoU on Banking and Insurance Regulatory between China National Financial Regulatory Administration (NFRA) and Bangladesh Bank', A Protocol of Phytosanitary Requirements Export of Fresh Mangoes from Bangladesh to China'; MoU on Strengthening the Infrastructure Cooperation,; MoU on Cooperation on Green and Low-Carbon Development' and Renewing the MoU on Provision of Hydrological Information of the Yaluzangbu/ Brahmaputra River in Flood Season by China to Bangladesh,' the BSS report said.

Later, Hasina left for Dhaka wrapping up her three-day bilateral visit to China.

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