Bangladesh has sought Chinese assistance in capacity building of the institutions and human resources in maritime and blue economy of the Bay of Bengal for sustainable exploitation of maritime resources.
Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali urged Chinese cooperation in this regard when visiting Commerce Minister of China Gao Hucheng paid a courtesy call on him at his office on Wednesday morning. Ali also sought Beijing's help in setting up the first-ever Marine Aquarium at the National Oceanographic Research Institute (NORI) in Cox's Bazar.
The Chinese Commerce Minister in response showed keen interest in cooperating in the maritime and blue economy sector and proposed constituting a Working Group in the Ministry of Commerce of China to work on the technical areas.
Gao Hucheng said a China Aquatic Corporation, a Chinese company, would work on setting up the Marine Aquarium at NORI.
During the hour-long meeting at the Foreign Ministry, besides Bangladesh's ongoing development activities, Chinese investment in Special Economic Zones and other issues of common concern came up for discussion.
Referring to the 'One Belt One Road' initiative of Chinese President Xi Xinping, the Chinese Minister emphasized that the initiative would enhance communication, coordination of national policies and overall people-to-people contact between and among all the countries involved.
He summarised by saying that through this initiative and related mechanisms China wants to take up a motto of "discuss together-develop together-share together" for the common pursuit of progress and development.
Both sides reiterated their commitment to work together to celebrate the 40th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Bangladesh and China according to the Plan of Action and to arrange high level visit from China to Bangladesh this year.
Bangladesh side reiterated to go ahead with One China Policy, which the Chinese side deeply appreciated.
Hucheng appreciated the constructive support received from Bangladesh on the issues deemed critical to the interest of China.
The Foreign Minister touched upon the historical background of the Sino-Bangla ties built over several hundred years.
The Chinese Minister echoed by noting that scholars and tradesmen who travelled between the two nations were instrumental for the strong bond of friendship and understanding.
Ali mentioned the bonds between the two nations were further solidified with the visits of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to China in 1952 and 1957.
Such bond of friendship was further consolidated through the landmark visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's to China in June, 2014, elevating the relations to a Closer Comprehensive Partnership.
The visiting Minister expressed China's desire to continue supporting the government of Sheikh Hasina for its future endeavours for progress and development.
Hucheng lauded Sheikh Hasina's government for significant socio- economic development of Bangladesh, especially the phenomenal growth rate of more than 6 per cent in the last six years.