Beijing interested to lend $5b, not $7b

PM Sheikh Hasina
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Prime minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to set out for China on a bilateral official visit on Monday one year ahead of marking the golden jubilee of diplomatic relations between Dhaka and Beijing.

The prime minister will discuss with Chinese president Xi Jinping to take the 'partnership' of two countries to new heights during her visit to Beijing after five years. Alongside deepening relations between two governments in the political arena, issues like more involvement of China in Bangladesh economic activities will get priority.

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Speaking to Prothom Alo, diplomatic sources said Bangladesh will give priority on trade and economy during this trip. Chinese partnership on issues like coordinated development in Bangladesh north and loans in Chinese currency will get priority. China is interested in providing a loan in local currency equivalent to around USD 5 billion. Bangladesh wanted USD 7 billion.

Diplomatic sources said a number of important issues may be resolved during the meeting of top politicians of two countries during the prime minister's trip.

Although the trip is bilateral, in the context of contemporary global and regional incidents, various issues including geo-politics and geo-economy may emerge in the talks.

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Speaking to Prothom Alo, foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen said discussions are going on with China on various issues. In these discussions, various issues of economic cooperations are getting priority.

20 documents for signing

On the 3rd day of the visit, prime minister Sheikh Hasina will hold a formal meeting with Chinese prime minister Li Qiang at the Great Hall of Beijing. In presence of two leaders, 20 documents including a number of MoUs may be signed between two countries.

Diplomatic sources in Dhaka said, no agreements will be signed between two countries during this trip. MoUs on various issues and similar types of documents will be signed. Till Friday last, two countries have finalised at least 15 MoUs for signing.

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