Politicians and policymakers have sought China's assistance in technology transfer and human resource development in Bangladesh, in addition to loan assistance for infrastructure development.
They also stressed bilateral relationships with China in the field of education, and cultural skills development at the "10th Anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative" arranged by the Bangladesh China Silk Road Forum at a hotel in the capital yesterday.
Despite the government implementing a remarkable number of mega projects in recent years, Bangladesh is still facing an infrastructure deficit, Planning Minister MA Mannan said at the event.
The minister said, "We have to develop more infrastructure in roads, ports and power. We are seeking loans around the world."
He also said there is an opportunity for China to invest in Bangladesh with a mutual win-win condition.
The minister noted, "We need technology more than loans. In addition to financial support, we urge the Chinese government to take steps to transfer technology and improve manpower skills."
Yan Hualong, charge d'affaires, Chinese Embassy in Dhaka, mentioned that the BRI is playing a significant role in developing connectivity and infrastructure.
He said that the initiative is a new opportunity for both China and Bangladesh.
Over 500 Chinese companies are working in Bangladesh and providing a significant number of employment opportunities, he informed the event.
Former information minister Hasanul Haq Inu said the main motto of the BRI is mutual respect, mutual benefit, and also working together. "The so-called free economy has failed to reduce inequality. The World Bank and the IMF have also become part of polarisation."
Dilip Barua, chairman of the Bangladesh China Silk Road Forum, said, China has created great opportunities for global transportation and connectivity through the Built Road Initiative. BRICS is also playing a role in infrastructure financing through the New Development Bank and AIIB.
He observed that there has been incredible progress in the infrastructure sector in Bangladesh recently. "The Chinese government has played an important role in this."
He further said that this development would not have been possible without the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Former social welfare minister Rashed Khan Menon said the BRI is feared by many as China's debt trap. "But China's debt in Bangladesh is much less than the World Bank, Japan or other countries."
It was informed at the event that dozens of projects have been identified under the BRI programme, but so far 9 projects worth $7.1 billion have been awarded with $1.8 billion disbursed.