DHAKA, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has ushered in a new dawn for economies in dire need for infrastructural developments in Asia and beyond, Bangladeshi officials have said.
They also hailed the BRI as a mutually beneficial platform for cooperation for all the countries and regions participating in the initiative during discussions held recently in Dhaka.
Dilip Barua, general secretary of the Communist Party of Bangladesh (Marxist-Leninist), said the BRI not only operates in Bangladesh, but also reached different corners of the world, including Africa, Europe and Latin America.
Bangladeshi Planning Minister MA Mannan said that every country needs to improve the life of their farmers and workers, and infrastructural development is one of ways to do that. "With this in mind we are working on infrastructural development projects and China is supporting us by providing loans and technology."
With reference to duty-free treatment of 98 percent Bangladeshi goods to China, he said "this will help bolster our trading partnership and we are grateful to China for this opportunity."
The minister said Bangladesh wants more collaboration with China in technological area.
Rashed Khan Menon, who is the president of the Workers' Party of Bangladesh, an ally of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's ruling alliance, said that the BRI projects that have been implemented are changing the whole world in the last 10 years.
"If we look at our country, we can see that our infrastructure sector along with other sectors advanced a lot due to this. Padma Bridge is one of examples of this advancement," said Menon.
"Western countries are trying to defame the BRI by various means," Menon said, noting some people try to promote the idea that joining the BRI results in falling into debt trap. In Bangladesh, the amount of Chinese loans is far less than that of the World Bank, Japan, the European Union and the United States.
This kind of initiative can speed up development, he said, stressing that any tale could harm development.
Noting that Bangladesh is the first South Asian country to join the initiative, Charge d'affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Bangladesh Yan Hualong said that China and Bangladesh have had numerous achievements in Belt and Road cooperation, setting an example for such cooperation.
The BRI, a reference to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, was initiated by China in 2013 to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa on and beyond ancient Silk Road trade routes. ■