Chinese envoy sees no trade disruption with Bangladesh

13 Feb 2020 11:20 PM
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Chinese ambassador to Dhaka Li Jiming on Wednesday assured that Bangladeshi industries, especially textile and readymade garment, and the construction of mega projects in Bangladesh would not be affected as a result of outbreak of novel coronavirus in China.

‘I have learnt that Chinese people have now get back to businesses generally in most cities, except Wuhan, and so, there is hardly any possibility of major effect on bilateral trade between the two countries because of the outbreak,’ he said at a meet-the-press programme held in Dhaka.

Wuhan, which is still going through a tough situation as the epicentre of the virus, will not affect the essential picture of supply chain of Bangladeshi industries like RMG as the town having population of only 10 million isn't a production centre for textile or apparel products, he said.

China embassy and Bangladesh China Chamber of Commerce and Industry jointly organised the programme at the National Press Club to go over coronavirus and overall situation of the country.

He agreed that now the largest concern of Bangladeshi businesses was whether there is any necessity to shift supply chain from China abroad in today's situation.

‘But the answer is obviously “no” and it will be considered a “stupid decision” to think about shifting the supply chain,’ he said.

Bangladeshi traders, who import a lot more than 70 % of textile materials from China, have already been experiencing a bit disruption in supply chain as persons went into Chinese New Year vacation that was extended up to many weeks as a result of coronavirus outbreak, he said.

So, there is no need to be worried as business activities have started becoming normal and suppliers started shipments of products, he added.

In line with the BCCCI, Bangladesh imported goods worth $13.64 billion from China, a lot more than 26 per cent of the Bangladesh’s global import, within the last fiscal year 2018-2019 and exported goods worth only $831 million to the world’s second major economy in the entire year.

According to the National Board of Revenue data, Bangladesh’s import from China fell by 22 % year-on-year in January.

Li said that the Chinese government had also didn't adjust the monetary growth target and other the targets would not be revised.

‘The Chinese government has full confidence, functions and determination to win the battle and urged persons never to be panicked with spread of inaccurate and unscientific information,’ he said.

The ambassador said that China was handling the problem with efficiency and the rate of new suspect started coming down.

He also said that construction works of mega projects wouldn't normally be damaged as only 10 % of the Chinese persons employed in the projects visited China to take pleasure from New Year vacation.

The construction works may be affected if the government imposes ban on  import of goods and equipment from China, he said.

BCCCI president Gazi Golam Mortuza claimed that Bangladesh’s import from the united states had not up to now affected much because of the coronavirus as businesses imported satisfactory recycleables and other goods before you begin the New Year vacation.

‘We must wait few more weeks to comprehend some of the situation,’ he said.

He also said that it could put a negative impact if the coronavirus situation continued worsening.

BCCCI secretary general Md Shahjahan Mridha Benu, joint secretary general Al Mamn Mridha, Chinese commercial counsellor Liu Zhenhua, among others, were present at the programme.