With the launch of a series of specific projects, cooperation in the financial field between China and Bangladesh became more comprehensive and pragmatic in 2018, giving a boost to the Belt and Road construction.
To be specific, Ant Financial Services Group ("Ant Financial"), operator of China's Alipay, and bKash Limited ("bKash"), the leading mobile financial services provider of Bangladesh, announced a strategic partnership in April 2018, in a bid to provide convenient and safe digital financial service for local consumers by jointly creating a local version of Alipay.
Bangladesh became the ninth country along the Belt and Road routes where Ant Financial opened its business.
Besides, the Chinese consortium comprising the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE) and the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) in May 2018 signed an agreement with Bangladesh's Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) to become the latter's strategic investor.
In October, SZSE organized five Chinese listed companies to Bangladesh for business negotiation with Bangladeshi companies and financial institutions, so as to expand cooperation opportunities between the two countries.
In November, UnionPay International, a subsidiary of the Chinese bank card organization China UnionPay, officially launched card issuance and mobile payment cooperation with the Mutual Trust Bank (MTB) of Bangladesh to provide diversified payment services for Bangladeshi consumers.
According to statistics unveiled by the Bangladesh Bank in November, China had been Bangladesh's largest foreign direct investment (FDI) source from July 2017 to June 2018, a result inseparable from the broad financial cooperation between China and Bangladesh.
China-Bangladesh capital market cooperation is an important move to implement the Belt and Road Initiative as well as an innovative arrangement for cross-border capital market cooperation, said Wang Jianjun, general manger of SZSE.