Dhaka, Beijing to sign over 25 MoUs, deals

United News of Bangladesh | Published: 16:11, Oct 13,2016 | Updated: 20:11, Oct 13,2016

 
 
BD-China

Streets in Dhaka are decorated with giant portraits of prime minister Sheikh Hasina and Chinese president Xi Jinping on Thursday as Jingping is scheduled to visit Bangladesh on Friday. — Ali Hossain Mintu

Bangladesh and China will sign over 25 MoUs and deals which are expected to usher in a new chapter of greater collaboration between the two countries.

Foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali said this while briefing the media on Thursday afternoon on the crucial visit of Chinese president Xi Jinping.

The Chinese president, now in Cambodia, is due in Dhaka on Friday morning.

Dhaka is ready to show the highest level of honour and hospitality to the Chinese president.

President Abdul Hamid will receive his Chinese counterpart on his arrival at 11:40am at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport amid a rousing reception.

National anthems of the two countries will be played along with review of the guard of honour, including gun salute, for the Chinese president.

The visit is taking place three decades after then Chinese president Li Xiannian visited Bangladesh in March 1986.

Officials are still unwilling to speak on the figure of financial package that China may offer during the visit.

Diplomatic sources, however, said the figure may exceed US$ 25 billion. 

Dhaka and Beijing are likely to sign an umbrella agreement to establish closer economic ties through strengthening investment and production capacity covering some 25 priority projects with a special focus on Bangladesh's infrastructure, communication and energy sectors.

Chinese ambassador in Dhaka Ma Mingqiang has recently said Chinese president Xi Jinping's forthcoming Dhaka visit will take the Bangladesh-China relations to a new height. ‘I can assure you there'll be a number of documents to be signed. You'll see the relations will really be upgraded to a new height’, Ma had said.

China has already termed its president's Bangladesh visit a 'milestone' for Bangladesh-China friendship.

Chinese assistant foreign minister Kong Xuanyou said Bangladesh is China's important partner in South Asia and the Indian Ocean region, and the visit would be a 'milestone' for Bangladesh-China relationship.

According to the Chinese foreign ministry, Xi will pay state visit to Cambodia before coming to Bangladesh. He will then fly to Goa to attend the 8th BRICS summit on Saturday.

Officials in Dhaka said Bangladesh and China will sign a number of agreements with special focus on improving infrastructure and boosting connectivity.

According to draft programme schedule, the Chinese president will hold official talks with prime minister Sheikh Hasina at the prime minister's Office at 3pm on Friday and the agreement/MoU signing ceremony will be held at 4:00pm on the day.

The Chinese president will meet speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury at 4:40pm, foreign ministry sources said.

Xi will meet his Bangladesh counterpart Abdul Hamid at Bangabhaban at 6:30pm, while the official banquet will be hosted at 7:00pm.

On Saturday morning, the Chinese president will visit national mausoleum at Savar at 9:00am and will depart for Goa at 10:00am.

China has emerged as the biggest source of import for Bangladesh since 2007. In 2015-16, two-way trades between the two countries has crossed US$ 9 billion with US$ 8223.20 million import from China and US$ 791.03 million export.

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