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Beijing to further bolster ties with Dhaka

Published : 30 Aug 2023 10:15 PM | Updated : 31 Aug 2023 04:33 PM

China wants to further bolster ties with Bangladesh through various measures in the days to come, said a statement of the Chinese Embassy in Dhaka on Wednesday.

“With applicant-friendly visa policies, various options of flights and attractive ticket prices, China encourages more Bangladeshi people to study, do business, go sightseeing and invest in China,” the statement said.  

The readiness of visa facilitation measures and more round-trip flights are expected to further "promote in-depth understanding and friendship" between the two peoples. According to the statement of the Chinese embassy, China is committed to open its door wider to the world. 

According to China's new regulations, travelers bounding for China are no longer required to take COVID-19 PCR or ATR test before boarding, valid from August 30. Declaration of test result to China Customs upon arrival are exempted accordingly.

China has made a strong presence in Bangladesh’s road transport infrastructures, building a total length of 550 kilometers which include the country’s largest road-rail Padma Bridge and first-ever underwater roadway Bangladesh Karnaphuli River Tunnel Project. 

Massive changes took place in Bangladesh because of China’s foreign currency reserve which is larger than many other countries. 

China’s foreign exchange reserves was measured at 3,204.3 USD billion in Jul 2023, according to CEIC. India's forex reserve was measured at $594.90 billion as of August 18, 2023, according to data from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). United States foreign exchange reserves was measured at 36.5 USD billion in May 2023, according to CEIC data.   In recent years, China has emerged as Bangladesh’s largest trading partner and one of its biggest providers of development assistance. Since 2016, the two sides have been a strategic partnership. Like 150 other countries, Bangladesh joined China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Since then, nine Belt and Road projects have been agreed upon, including Padma Bridge, Paksey Bridge, The 8th Bangladesh-China Friendship Bridge, Container Terminal at New Mooring, Chittagong, Mirsarai Coastal Protection Project, Karnaphuli tunnel, Improvement of Jatrabari Intersection, The Dhaka Bypass Expressway Project along with many other projects. China has also invested and has been planning to invest more on many energy and power projects. 

The Chinese Embassy in Bangladesh also issued a notice three weeks ago to further facilitate visa application process for Bangladeshi citizens.  Till the end of this year, there will be no need to leave fingerprints at the Embassy counter desk for those who apply for single and double entry business (M), tourism (L), family visit (Q2), transit (G), and crew (C) visas.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines will undertake its maiden flight between Dhaka and Guangzhou on September 14.  Tickets for this route are already open for sale on the company's website.  US-Bangla Airlines will increase its flights heading for Guangzhou from three to five per week. 

Taking into account the flights of China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines, the total amount of direct flights between the two countries will grow to 48 per week from mid-September on, which will meet the need of transportation for nearly 10,000 people on weekly basis, said the Embassy.

Since the beginning of this millennium, in particular the establishment of Bangladesh-China Strategic Partnership of Cooperation in 2016, the Embassy said, bilateral exchanges in various fields have become increasingly intensive.

The Johannesburg meeting between Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Chinese President Xi Jinping charted the future road map for betterment of bilateral relations, it said.  They jointly made the decision to further strengthen people-to-people contact and deepen cultural exchanges. 

It is being said that the expansion of Bangladesh's economy has caught the interest of foreign partners and investors. The nation has taken the initiative to encourage FDI through legislative changes, upgraded infrastructure, and streamlined bureaucratic processes. 

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