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Road, rail link, trade to dominate talks

Source:   Time:

Regional connectivity, particularly setting up of Chittagong-Kunming road and rail-link, expansion of trade and commerce and joint efforts to curb poverty will dominate talks during a three-day visit of Chinese Yunnan Governor Qin Guangrong to Bangladesh.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina invited Governor Qin during her visit to Kunming in March this year.

Five agreements in the fields of agriculture, education, energy, tourism and establishing friendship with Yunnan are expected to be signed during his visit beginning August 28.

The relation between the two countries has reached a new height following Sheikh Hasina's visit to China in March. After her visit, China sent its Vice President Xi Jinping to Bangladesh in June, sources said.

Official sources said Bangladesh is currently giving utmost importance to regional and international connectivity and has taken up appropriate steps to establish road and rail link with Asian Highway.

As part of that link, Bangladesh is trying to connect road and rail with Kunming, which will directly join Bangladesh and China. Bangladesh thinks China has a major role to play in the rail and road link as the economic super power has such strength and capacity.

Hasina, during her visit to Kunming, said, “Yunnan province authorities also have a significant role to set up direct link with Bangladesh.”

Yunnan, one of China's most environmentally and culturally diverse provinces, is located at the foot of the Himalayan Mountains and is working to become China's “sustainable province.”

Foreign ministry officials said Governor Qin, during his talks with Bangladesh leaders, would also discuss about clean and renewable energy development.

They said the governor would hold separate meetings with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury, Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain, Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister GM Kader and Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni.

Chinese embassy sources said Yunnan province proposed signing of five Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) with Bangladesh. Under the MoUs, Yunnan province will provide 20 scholarships to Bangladeshi students in different universities and colleges from next year.

The scholarship will cover entire cost of the students, including tuition fees, costs of accommodation and meals, health insurance and airfare for travelling to Bangladesh-Kunming-Bangladesh.

Besides, the province will allow Bangladeshi students to go there for higher studies on their own cost every year. In that case, the Yunnan province will give scholarships to five students among each 100.

Moreover, the Yunnan province is willing to establish an institute for science and technological research in Bangladesh after the name of Chinese philosopher Confucius. A MoU is expected to be signed during the governor's visit to Dhaka.

Under the proposed MoU on tourism, the Yunan province will offer training to the officials, arrange fairs in Yunnan and Bangladesh, extend support to the tourists and businessmen engaged in tourism industry and exchange of information related to each others tourism and place of attractions.

To establish friendship, the province also proposed establishing provincial friendship between Yunnan and Chittagong. The draft of the MoU stated that both Yunnan and Chittagong would cooperate with each other for development in the areas of trade, economy, culture, sports and tourism.

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