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High-ups for expediting ongoing Chinese, Japanese projects

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAGovernment high-ups have taken a move to expedite implementation of the ongoing Japanese and Chinese projects in Bangladesh, official sources said.

The ministries and departments concerned have been directed to ensure it.

The directive happens to have been issued at a recent meeting following summit-level talks during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to Japan and China.

Held at the prime minister’s office, the meeting also asked the ministries to prepare action plan for implementing the decisions taken during the PM tour of the two Asian countries, considered economic powerhouses on the global plane.

The ministries have also been asked to update the PMO on regular basis about the progresses they make in executing the action plan.

Sources said the PM had asked the officials to take steps for quicker implementation of the decisions taken during her Japan and China tours. During Sheikh Hasina’s visit, Japan held out a US$6.0 billion credit line for infrastructure development and priority projects in Bangladesh.

They said the prime minister’s two trips and the outcomes were taken very seriously by the government since various important decisions were taken at the time. Her visits were ‘very successful’ as the two countries promised extended cooperation both in financial and technical areas.

A major outcome of PM’s China visit was the signing of six deals and memorandums of understanding (MoUs) on infrastructural development in Bangladesh. Besides, China has assured raising annual Chinese project grants to $50 million from $25 million.

“Even the secretaries of the ministries have been asked to contact the PMO directly if they needed any inter-ministerial coordination to implement the decisions taken during PM’s visit,” said a senior official at the ministry of finance.

He said utmost importance is given to the decisions so that related projects and investments get priority and implemented without delay.

Officials said after getting directives from the PMO the ministries and departments concerned started identifying the priority areas of work to implement the decisions as quick as possible.

On her visit, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also assured the two friendly nations all-out cooperation in facilitating their investments in Bangladesh. Establishing exclusive economic zones to facilitate Chinese and Japanese trade and investment was also assured.

A senior commerce ministry official told the FE that Bangladesh has yawning trade gaps with Japan and China. Both the countries have offered tariff concessions to facilitate Bangladesh’s export to their markets. Japan is also a major donor for Bangladesh, he said.

If investments from Japan and China can be facilitated here, he believes, Bangladesh’s trade gap with the two giant economies will be bridged since many of the Chinese and Japanese investors will take home their products.

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Report: Syful Islam
Source: Financial Express

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