Thursday, March 5th, 2020

Dhaka, Beijing to reach new climax in economic, trade cooperation: Envoy

Thursday, 05 March 2020 | 8:40 am | 58 times

Dhaka, Beijing to reach new climax in economic, trade cooperation: Envoy

Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming on Wednesday hoped that the government of Bangladesh, together with the Chinese government, will continue to introduce effective policies and measures that are conducive to the battle against the epidemic and beneficial for work in mega projects.

“With joint efforts, we will not only be able to successfully limit the impact of the epidemic, but also reach a new climax in Bangladesh-China economic and trade cooperation,” he said.

The Ambassador said it could be said that if China encounters difficulties in economic development, it will directly affect the economic growth of Bangladesh.

“However, we must see that Bangladesh made the choice to carry out economic and trade cooperation with China because of the best choice under the market economy environment,” said the Chinese envoy.

It has always been so and always will be in the future, which will not change because of the temporary outbreak of coronavirus epidemic, he said.

“China will always be the most reliable trading partner of Bangladesh and a firm builder and implementer of major infrastructure projects for “Belt and Road” connectivity,” said Jiming.

Looking ahead, he said, the industrial chain and supply chain of China-Bangladesh cooperation will only strengthen, not weaken.

The Ambassador said they will work hand in hand with the government of Bangladesh and all sectors of Bangladesh society to prevent the outbreak, overcome the temporary difficulties and serve for bilateral economic and trade cooperation.

During the traditional Chinese Spring Festival, thousands of Chinese employees here did not choose to return to China and reunite with their families, but continued to engage in the construction and production in Bangladesh.

“Therefore, many major projects are still under regular construction without being suspended. We believe that China’s large-scale production and operation activities in Bangladesh will not undergo a significant adverse impact due to the outbreak,” said the Chinese Ambassador.

The Chinese Ambassador and Bangladesh government officials gathered at the main camp of the First Division of CREC Project Management Office of Padma Bridge Rail Link Project to give an objective assessment of the impact of COVID-19 epidemic on China-Bangladesh economic and trade cooperation, and to look at measures that will reduce the impact of the epidemic, facilitate the long-term and sound development of economic and trade cooperation, corporately promote the implementation of major projects and create a new formula for China Bangladesh economic and trade cooperation under the latest complex situation.

So far, the risk of COVID-19 has been raised to very high at a global level by WHO.

This indicates that although China has achieved important results in the prevention and control of the epidemic, the overall situation around the world is still not optimistic, according to the Chinese Embassy here.

“It’s a common issue for all countries in the world to find a way to strengthen epidemic prevention and control while maintaining economic development,” said the Chinese Ambassador.

He said a series of effective measures have been adopted since the outbreak of
COVID-19 epidemic in China.

The Chinese government prioritises people’s life safety and health first, gives full play to its institutional advantages, establishes a nationwide mechanism, coordinates resources allocation, organizes scientific and technological research, discloses epidemic information, and actively carries out international cooperation with a highly responsible attitude.

“As a result, the epidemic has been effectively contained so far. To elaborate, first, China pays high attention to epidemic prevention and control. President Xi Jinping deployed and directed the epidemic prevention efforts in person, hosting conferences many times to listen to real-time reports and make important instructions.”

Until now, the Ambassador said, no Chinese national here and no Bangladesh national here or in China is infected with coronavirus.

At present, he said, Bangladesh needs to pay more attention to strengthening the precaution for personnel exchanges with other epidemic-stricken countries.

“We firmly believe that the COVID-19 epidemic will not have a decisively negative impact on China and the global economy,” the Ambassador said, adding that Chinese people are full of confidence in winning over the epidemic and achieving the goals of economic development.

He mentioned that the people of Bangladesh have been firmly standing by the Chinese people since the outbreak of COVID-19 epidemic.

Since the outbreak, the Ambassador said, the Chinese Embassy in Bangladesh has attached great importance to epidemic prevention and control, and has taken active measures to prevent the outbreak from happening in Bangladesh.

“For Chinese enterprise employees and overseas Chinese in Bangladesh, they have taken health screening and self-isolation for 14 days to ensure there are no symptoms,” he said.

Li Jiming said Bangladeshi people and the rest of the world should also be fully confident that the epidemic is far from the end of the world.

He said 28 provinces in China have registered a zero increase in new cases of COVID-19 for more than 10 consecutive days with 54 percent cure rate.

The ambassador said China has proved that the COVID-19 is preventable and controllable.

He said China is actively promoting the resumption of work and production while controlling and preventing the epidemic.

The government of China announced that the major goals of economic and social development in 2020 set at the beginning of the year remain unchanged.

“China has the confidence and capacity to achieve the goals. At present, the domestic capacity recovery index has reached more than 70 percent, and the capacity recovery rate of the state-owned enterprises has reached 97 percent,” said Ambassador Jiming.

He said most of the private enterprises are also resuming their operation.

The supply chain is recovering rapidly, and foreign trade shows an obvious upward trend for the government of China has taken the initiative to grant visa extension to foreigners in China, said the Chinese Ambassador.

For instance, he said, China currently produces 100 million masks per day, which will not only gradually make up the domestic supply and demand gap, but also support the epidemic prevention and control efforts in other countries.

Facts once again prove that China’s nationwide mechanism can effectively mobilise all forces to jointly make great achievements, said the envoy.

“In the history of human society, we have fought against all kinds of difficult obstacles and finally won,” he said.

Ambassador Jiming mentioned that humans have endured the Black Death in medieval Europe, the outbreak of the H1N1 influenza virus, and the invasion of the Ebola virus; humans have also experienced the 1929 global economic depression, 1998 Southeast Asian financial crisis and 2008 global financial crisis.

“However, as a community with a shared future, we have been rising from failures again and again, pushing human civilisation to new successes and victories, and achieving higher and greater goals for human happiness and development,” he added.

The Ambassador said hearts of Chinese people and Bangladeshi people are closely linked, the economies of two countries highly complementary. “There are huge spaces for cooperation in trade, investment and engineering contract between China and Bangladesh.”

He noticed that under the impact of the outbreak of the COVID-19, there have been some twists and turns in economic and trade cooperation between Bangladesh and China.

For example, the Ambassador said, some garment raw materials cannot be imported in time, which makes it difficult to secure orders for Bangladesh’s pillar industry — garment processing and export; in some major cooperation projects between the two countries, the Chinese engineers or technicians and construction personnel could not arrive in time due to visa restrictions, which has affected the progress of the projects; also due to the newly-added inspection and quarantine measures, the logistics of related projects and the efficiency of customs clearance have been slowed down.

He said China has been highly recognised by the international communities.

“Leaders of more than 170 countries sent condolences, praising China’s anti-epidemic measures as a major contribution to world epidemic prevention,” he said.

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