Vol. 5 Num 1118 Mon. July 23, 2007  

Chinese sign deals to buy $53m goods from Bangladesh
Visiting team intends to narrow trade gap

The visiting high profile Chinese business delegation hoped that Bangladesh-China bilateral trade would reach US$ 5 billion within 2010, if the current pace of trade continues.

"Although the bilateral trade heavily tilts to China, the Chinese government has taken several measures to reduce trade gap between the two countries," the team leader, Wang Chao, assistant commerce minister of China, told a business meeting titled Bangladesh China Business Dialogue at the Bangladesh China Friendship Conference Centre in Dhaka yesterday.

The Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) and the Chinese Embassy in Dhaka organised the business meeting that was followed by a purchase agreement signing ceremony.

The 12-member business team, who belong Chinese top 500 enterprises, inked agreements with 12 Bangladeshi companies to purchase goods worth $ 53 million.

As per the contracts, the Chinese importers will purchase Bangladeshi goods such as jute, jute yarn, leather, sea foods and cotton yarn.

Wang Chao said the present visit demonstrates the determination and sincerity of China to reach a balanced Sino-Bangla trade.

This trade volume was US$3.2 billion in 2006 with a growth of 29 percent over the year 2005.

In the first five months of 2007, bilateral trade reached US $1.3 billion, of which Bangladesh's share is only $100 million.

The visiting team expects China to allow a duty-free access of more Bangladeshi products to China under the Asean Free Trade Area (AFTA).

Bangladesh now enjoys such duty-free benefit for its 84 products.

The Chinese team leader also told the function that more missions from their country will arrive in Dhaka to strike purchase deals with a view to narrowing the trade gap and furthering economic cooperation between the two countries.

Earlier, Finance Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam hailed the Chinese team for their intention to improve the Sino-Bangla trade imbalance when they met him at his office.

He laid emphasis on constructing the tri-nation Myanmar-Bangladesh-China road to enhance trade and commerce between the two friendly countries.