China’s foreign direct investment (FDI) in Bangladesh has jumped about 200 percent year-on-year to $ 418 million in the past seven months, according to Chinese Ambassador Li Jiming.
“Over time, China has become Bangladesh’s biggest trading partner,” he said, adding that Bangladesh is China’s third largest market for engineering contracts in South Asia.
Jiming was speaking at the 2021 China-Bangladesh Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum and the inauguration of the seventh meeting of the Association of Chinese Businesses in Bangladesh (CEAB), which was held virtually yesterday.
“Even in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, our bilateral trade and investment has thwarted global trends, fully demonstrating the resilience and vitality of China-Bangladesh cooperation during such a crucial time,” said the ‘ambassador.
From January to July of this year, the volume of trade between China and Bangladesh reached $ 13 billion, up 58.9 percent year-on-year. At the same time, Chinese entrepreneurs in Bangladesh reported revenue of $ 3.18 billion, up 59.5 percent year-on-year.
Jiming went on to say that China and Bangladesh are both in a critical phase of revitalization and development following the advent of Covid-19.
He also said that his country attaches great importance to building economic and trade cooperation mechanisms with Bangladesh.
In addition, following the entry into force of the zero tariff concession granted to 97 per cent of Bangladesh’s exports to China, shipments to the East Asian country grew in double digits.
During the January-July period, Bangladesh’s exports to China grew by around 38% year-on-year, Jiming said. Until March of this year, the total value of FDI in Bangladesh was around $ 20 billion, of which China provided around $ 1.4 billion.
Most of China’s investment comes from the local power sector, which received around $ 443 million in May this year, according to data from Bangladesh Bank.
According to data compiled by the Bangladesh Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), bilateral trade between China and Bangladesh amounted to approximately $ 12 billion in fiscal year 2019-2020, this which was strongly oriented towards China.
However, emphasizing the need for low-carbon energy development, the ambassador said China will no longer build new coal-based power projects in Bangladesh.
While striving to reach its peak carbon by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060, China will also strongly support the development of low-carbon and green energy in Bangladesh, he added. .
According to the Chinese envoy, his country encourages its companies to strengthen their exchanges and cooperation with Bangladeshi companies, especially those in the manufacturing sector, to accelerate green development.
Since 2008, the government of Bangladesh has approved 18 coal-fired power plants as part of its plan to produce 40,000 MW of electricity, 35% of which from coal-fired power plants, by 2030.
However, the government earlier this year approved a proposal to scrapped 10 of the 18 coal-fired power plants because construction on the projects had not progressed for years.
China is currently investing in at least two coal projects, including the second phase of the Payra thermal power plant, a joint venture with Bangladesh.
The Chinese Ambassador also congratulated the newly elected Chairman of CEAB, Ke Changliang, Chief Representative of China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation in Bangladesh, and General Secretary Wang Xiaojiao, Chief Representative of China CAMC Engineering Co Ltd in Bangladesh, as well as other leaders of the association.
Addressing the program, various Bangladeshi business leaders urged Chinese investors to increase their investment in the country as a development partner and assured them to provide a safe and secure environment.
Salman F Rahman, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Private Industry and Investment; Md Sirazul Islam, Executive Chairman of the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority; Md Nazrul Islam, Executive Chairman of the Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Authority; Shaikh Yusuf Harun, Executive Chairman of the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority; Md Jashim Uddin, President of the Bangladesh Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry; and other business leaders from both countries spoke at the program.