Feature: BRI fuels rapid growth of Bangladeshi businesses
DHAKA, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- The total driving distance from Dhaka's commercial Motijheel district to the Bangabandhu Bangladesh-China Friendship Exhibition Center in the Bangladeshi capital's Purbachal new township under construction is approximately 35 km.
The hot weather and such a long distance did little to deter businesses from thronging the "Belt and Road Initiative in Bangladesh Exhibition 2023."
Some 3,000 people, including top government officials and leading businesses, flocked to the three-day exhibition over the weekend, bringing together companies, especially those from China, under one roof.
Scores of Chinese and Bangladeshi enterprises, banks, and government agencies used more than 120 standard booths to demonstrate the achievements of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in Bangladesh.
"I came to this exhibition center after seeing the circular of the exhibition," said Bangladeshi Himel, who uses a single name.
"I visited the Huawei stall and saw all Huawei technology and career enterprise solutions here," Himel said, adding, "I've also visited many Chinese stalls. It was very nice to visit this exhibition."
Himel said Bangladeshi people are also very familiar with Chinese technology and can use an array of high-tech products made in China.
In the booth of Akij Jute Mills Limited, Abiruzzaman, the senior manager, was introducing their products to the visitors passionately.
"I am very happy to participate here," Abiruzzaman said, adding that "we export to China. They are very good, and their cooperation mentality impressed us."
Md Mujibur Rahman, managing director of Powervision Group, was thrilled to be the dealer of Sany Heavy Industry India Pvt. Ltd. in Bangladesh.
Till now, the comprehensive market share of the main construction machinery products from Sany exceeds 30 percent, and the market share was No.1 in Bangladesh for eight consecutive years.
"Construction machines are essential for the BRI. According to that requirement, Sany has been in Bangladesh for the past years and will continue to be," he said.
The BRI is doing development work in Bangladesh, Rahman said, adding that Bangladeshi people know what the BRI is because "development is not possible in Bangladesh without the BRI."
Both the countries benefit mutually from the BRI, a bridge and catalyst in paving the way for the transfer of technology and more investment from China's public and private sectors, said Mohammad Hatem, executive president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), one of the largest associations of Bangladesh's top export earning sector, the readymade garment.
He said there are big opportunities for Chinese investors to invest in Bangladesh because "there is a ready market."
"We want to go forward with the BRI. Bangladesh will go forward with the help of China and the BRI."
Bangladeshi government officials have also called for increased cooperation under the framework of the China-proposed BRI, which they said has brought great changes to the South Asian country.
They made the remarks on Friday when speaking at the opening ceremony of "The Belt and Road Initiative in Bangladesh Exhibition 2023," which marks the 10th anniversary of the initiative.
The BRI has already brought transformative changes to Bangladesh as "it has strengthened our role as a vital connector in the regional trade network," Lokman Hossain Miah, executive chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), said at the ceremony attended by nearly 400 representatives of Chinese and Bangladeshi enterprises.
"Our participation in the BRI is a testament to our shared commitment. So, let us see this moment, harness the opportunities it presents and work together to build a more prosperous and interconnected world," said Miah, a senior secretary of the Bangladeshi government.
Under the BRI, he said Bangladesh has implemented mega projects like the Padma Bridge rail link, the 8th Bangladesh-China Friendship Bridge, and the Bangabandhu Bangladesh China-Friendship Exhibition Center, among others.
Addressing the ceremony, A.H.M. Ahsan, vice chairman and chief executive officer of Bangladesh's Export Promotion Bureau, said the BRI put forward 10 years ago is "a visionary project aimed at revitalizing the connectivity among Asia, Europe and Africa."
"Over the past decade, we have witnessed the transformative impact of the BRI on global trade and investment, with Bangladesh being an enthusiastic participant in this journey," he noted.