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Sunday, December 28, 2014, Poush 14, 1421, Robiul Awal 5, 1436 Hijr

Chinese FM in town
Trade, aid, security high on agenda
Published : Sunday, 28 December, 2014,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 15
Staff Correspondent
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrived Saturday in Dhaka on a three-day official visit to Bangladesh.
Yi landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 6:40pm. Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali received the Chinese distinguished guest.
Bangladesh's Amba-ssador to China M Fazlul Karim and Director General of East-Asia wing of the Foreign Ministry Md Jasim Uddin were also present at the airport to greet Wang Yi.
Later, the Chinese minister was taken to Sonargaon hotel, where he will be staying during his stay in the Bangladesh capital.
A bilateral meeting will be held at the foreign ministry at 10:00am today (Sunday). Wang Yi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali will lead the high- level delegations of the two countries, according to a Foreign Ministry official.
The Chinese Foreign Minister will also meet President Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia during his stay in Dhaka.
The schedules of meeting with the President and the Prime Minister are yet to be confirmed, while meeting with Khaleda Zia is scheduled to be held at 8pm on Sunday at her Gulshan residence.
Wang Yi will leave Dhaka on Monday afternoon.
The visit, a high official said, will focus on wide ranging bilateral issues such as trade, aid, development and security aspects.
Wang Yi is expected to evaluate the progress and hurdles in implementing two memoranda of understanding (MoU) and an agreement the two countries inked during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to China in June.
Ahead of the visit, Beijing urged Dhaka to ink a bilateral framework agreement on aid cooperation, a Finance Ministry source said.
Officials concerned said Dhaka is likely to seek enhancement of the duty-free quota from the existing 60 per cent to 100 per cent in Chinese market as the trade was heavily tilted to China.
They said that China had recently shown keen interests to extend cooperation in modernising navy equipment. The Chinese side offered US$1 billion security deal to the government.
Bangladesh exported goods of $458.12 million to China in 2012-13 fiscal year (FY) against imports of $6.30 billion. Bangladesh has been enjoying zero tariff facility for 4800 items in Chinese market since July 2010, which accounts for 60 per cent of China's tariff lines.
The two MoU signed between the two countries during Hasina's visit were on cooperation in the establishment of Chinese economic and industrial zone in Bangladesh and the construction of a multi-lane road tunnel under the river Karnaphuli.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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