China will transfer technology for its indigenous high-yield rice variety to Bangladesh as part of agricultural cooperation between the two countries, media reported Monday.
Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali said Monday that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, during his just concluded visit, also talked about taking â€œnecessary stepsâ€ for setting up a rice research centre in Bangladesh, bdnews24.com reported.
Ali said Wang’s visit was â€œvery successfulâ€ as new areas of cooperation emerged, and he believed it strengthened the existing Dhaka-Beijing relations further.
He said Bangladesh would need to increase food production on its small arable land and the transfer of rice cultivating technology by China would help in this.
The Chinese foreign minister’s visit was aimed at reviewing the progress of the commitments both sides made during Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Beijing visit in June.
It was also aimed at mapping out the details of joint celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries next year when Dhaka expects the Chinese president to visit the country.
The Bangladesh foreign minister said that China would have 100 young Bangladeshis visiting the country as part of the celebrations next year.
China will finance the $1.2-billion project of building a tunnel beneath the Karnafuli river.
Ali said China has endorsed Bangladesh’s vision of acting as a bridge between south Asia and southeast Asia, given its strategic geographical location.
China assured Bangladesh of helping it to become a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).
Both sides also agreed to work closely during next year’s multi-lateral discussions for adopting a post-2015 development agenda and during climate change talks.
They stressed on the need for quick implementation of the proposed Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar (BCIM) economic corridor.
China has proposed to initiate free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations to narrow down the trade imbalance, the Bangladesh foreign minister said.
Ali said Wang termed Bangladesh an â€œimportant neighbourâ€ and stressed on bilateral cooperation to strengthen the relations.
Five priority areas of cooperation — trade, agriculture, industry, energy and infrastructure — were identified.
China welcomed Bangladesh’s proposal of forming a joint working group on trade and industry and a bilateral investment forum.
The issue of the specialised economic trade zone that Bangladesh offered to China during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit was also discussed.
Wang reportedly said that Chinese companies were eager to relocate factories to Bangladesh.
He promised Chinese cooperation in setting up power plants and exploring oil and gas in Bangladesh.
Hasina, during her meeting with Wang Sunday, said her government was inclined to strengthen strategic ties with China and would follow the Asian giant as its development model.
â€œBangladesh will follow China as the development model. China’s development means development of Asia. The two countries can attain the goal of poverty eradication through mutual assistance,â€ Hasina’s press secretary A.K.M. Shamim Chowdhury quoted the prime minister as saying.