Govt plans to tap marine resources with China’s help
The government has decided to identify prospective areas and framework of cooperation with China to make sure the optimum utilisation of marine resources in the Bay of Bengal.
Another decision has also been taken to gear up activities for signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and other support activities with the State Oceanic Administration of China to receive assistance from the Chinese government for materialising the ‘blue economy’ concept and capacity building.
The decisions were taken at a recent meeting on the progress of agreements, MoUs and other issues with China signed during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to China in June 2014, a source close to the meeting told UNB.
About the progress on implementation of the Bangladesh China India Myanmar-Economic Corridor (BCIM-EC) to set up road and rail communications among these countries, the meeting asked the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) to complete the survey in this regard as soon as possible and move ahead with other activities.
About procuring gas from Myanmar territories in the Bay of Bengal, the official who attended the meeting told UNB that it was suggested that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs initiate negotiations with India, Myanmar and China to raise and discuss the issue in a four-country consortium. The Energy and Mineral Resources Division will also move ahead with the process giving it the due importance.
Discussing the construction of proposed Padma Railway Bridge with Chinese assistance, it was decided to take ahead the negotiations and other related activities for inking the commercial contract.
For the simplification of visa processing in both the countries, the meeting was informed that a draft proposal for mutual visa exemption has been sent to the Bangladesh Embassy in Beijing suggesting constant communication with the Chinese authorities concerned in this regard.
For addressing huge trade imbalance between the two countries, the meeting suggested the Ministry of Commerce to continue efforts for including duty- and quota-free access of Bangladeshi products in Chinese market alongside sending the proposal for constructing Fashion Design Institute in Bangladesh on Chinese model.
Besides, the meeting emphasised getting more multiple visas for Bangladeshi businessmen alongside the exchange of more business delegations between the two countries.
On the establishment of Chinese economic and investment zone in Chittagong, the meeting stressed speeding up the negotiation process for signing the commercial contract prioritising on proposed $50 million Chinese grant for constructing offsite infrastructures.
The meeting also emphasised moving ahead the survey, design and investigation and other activities for implementation of the multi-lane road tunnel beneath the Karnaphuli River in Chittagong.