Bangladesh should exploit OBOR potentials: experts, NEW AGE, 9 May 2017

Distinguished guests attend a conference on Bangladesh-China relation organised by Bangladesh Enterprise Institute at a hotel in Dhaka on Monday 

Bangladesh should exploit maximum potentials of Chinese One Belt One Road initiative going beyond the limitations of bilateral relations with India and China, experts said in Dhaka on Monday.
‘It is for us to optimise opportunities in the value chain China has already created’ going beyond the limitations of bilateral relations with India and China amid the possibilities of the establishment of Asia-centric economic world-order, Centre for Policy Dialogue chairman Professor Rehman Sobhan said while presiding over a session of a conference on Bangladesh-China relations.
Bangladesh Enterprise Institute organised the conference at a city hotel with participation of diplomats, academicians, researchers and business leaders.
Professor Rehman said One Belt One Road initiative of China was not an imaginary concept, it was rather full of economic and financial realities.
He hoped that joint construction of a deep sea port in Bangladesh by China and India might become a reality in future.
Bangladesh is a member of 40-member Chinese OBOR initiative for greater connectivity with potentials for economic benefit from multi-modal communications and investment.
Chinese ambassador M Mingqiang said Belt and Road Initiative ‘is inclusive, rather than exclusive’, ‘voluntary, rather than compulsory’, and a non-discriminatory platform to face adversities of trade protectionism, unilateralism and lack of trust.
Describing some regional initiatives ‘slow’, he said the countries could make decisions bilaterally or trilaterally and others could the join process later.
Prime minister’s international affairs adviser Gowher Rizvi said Bangladesh’s relations with China and India were not ‘zero-some game, it is a positive-some game’ based on win-win situation to benefit the country.
Bangladesh’s strategic partnership with China ‘is extremely important’ for the country’s development, he said.
Bangladesh Institute of International Strategic Studies chairman Munshi Faiz Ahmad said any connectivity initiative must ensure people benefit in their movement and making goods and services available and easily accessible with removal of barriers.
BEI vice-president M Humayun Kabir stressed the need for making the Belt and Road Initiative process open, collaborative and consultative to promote collective efforts.
Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Abdul Matlub Ahmad and Apex Footwear Limited managing director Syed Nasim Manzur said China should provide Bangladesh 100 per cent duty free ‘one way’ complete access to Chinese market.
BEI president Farooq Sobhan said Bangladesh should exploit maximum potential of Chinese Belt and Road Initiative with making the country a hub of all sort of connectivity with support from China and India.
Bangladesh Bank chief economist Faisal Ahmed, Policy Research Institute executive director Ahsan H Mansur, Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Abul Kashem Khan, Chinese embassy commercial counsellor Li Guangjun, and Bob Zhang, head of OSIRIS Group of China, among others, participated in the discussion.