Dhaka Courier

China impresses the world

Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi speaks toward the global audience at the inaugural ceremony of a grand trade and investment fair in China on June 12, 2019. Photo: UNB

Bangladesh to become a manufacturing hub in Asia, says Tipu Munshi to global audience

The South and Southeast Asia Commodity Expo and Investment Fair (SSACEIF) ended in Kunming, China on June 18, bringing more opportunities for China, South and Southeast Asian countries.

The grand trade and investment fair began on June 12 in Yunnan Province’s capital Kunming, China’s major gateway to Southeast Asia and South Asia, highlighting China's closer ties with the region as it pushes forward the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The South Asian countries mainly displayed jewelry, carpets, spices, tea, textiles, handicrafts and other special products in the fair. The Southeast Asian countries displayed food, beverages, leisure food, fruits, seafood, birds' nest, coffee, beauty products, clothing, fashion accessories, national costumes, handicrafts, gift items, household products, jewelry and other special commodities.

Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi, at the opening ceremony, said the government of Bangladesh is putting in efforts to turn Bangladesh into an important manufacturing hub in Asia and urged the countries, including China, to avail themselves of the massive investment opportunities.

"Bangladesh is now considered as a miracle of development. It has become one of the fastest growing economies in the world," he told the global audience at the grand trade and investment fair.

China impressed the world with a practical move to serve and integrate into the ‘Belt and Road’ through the 2019 South and Southeast Asia Commodity Expo and Investment Fair (SSACEIF).

The Commerce Minister said the foreign investors can take the advantage of investment in Bangladesh in a number of sectors like shipbuilding, agro-processing, ICT, infrastructure development and tourism.

The minister expressed happiness saying SSACEIF attracted ever greater attention to South and Southeast Asia.

Minister Tipu Munshi said the grand expo is providing a huge platform to the private businesses investment opportunities. “We hope it’ll contribute meaningfully to bring the peoples and economies of these regions closer.”

He said Bangladesh exported US$ 41 billion worth of goods and services in 2018 and has planned to raise it to $60 billion by 2021.

To achieve the goals, the Commerce Minister said, the government is setting up 100 economic zones across the country.

He said Bangladesh is setting up one special economic zone - Chinese Industrial Economic Zone - for Chinese investors in Chattogram.

The mega exposition, held at the Kunming Dianchi Lake International Convention and Exhibition Center, featured 17 pavilions and 7,500 booths, including the Belt and Road Investment and Cooperation pavilion, the green energy pavilion and the forest ecological products pavilion on a total exhibition area of 170,000 square metres.

The BRI and Cooperation Pavilion aimed to build an efficient communication platform for investors, and comprehensively demonstrate Yunnan's advantages in terms of opening up, development and opportunities under the BRI.

India occupied the largest number of booths -- 240 -- demonstrating growing engagement between China and India on trade and investment front. Bangladesh set 19 stalls in the fair.

There were mainly six exhibition areas -- thematic, Southeast Asia, South Asia, international, domestic and never ending CSA Expo.

For the first time, the BRI Investment Cooperation Pavilion, Green Energy Pavilion, Forest Eco Products Pavilion and the Digital Yunnan Exhibition Area were set up in the fair venue.

Some 3,348 enterprises from 73 countries, regions and international organisations, business leaders, experts and scholars as well as about 167 representatives from ministries and local governments attended the fair.

The theme of this year's fair was ‘Gather at the Opening-up Frontier Together, Build the Radiation Center Together and Share Prosperity and Development Together’.  It continues to adopt the theme country and host country mechanism. This year's theme country was Sri Lanka and the host country was Cambodia.

"We’ve made every effort to create a first-class business environment that’s a pro-business one which will secure businesses and enrich businesspeople," Deputy Governor of People's Government of Yunnan Province Zhang Guohua told media in the capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province.

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