Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar have agreed on a joint research program on an ‘Economic Corridor’ connecting the four Eastern South Asian countries, officially setting up the mechanism to promote cooperation among the four nations.
The agreement came from the first meeting of the joint working group on the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) Economic Corridor which was ‘successfully’ held on December 18 and 19 in Kunming.
“Relevant parties signed the minutes of the meeting and a joint research program on the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor, officially setting up the mechanism to promote cooperation among the four countries,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a regular media briefing.
“We stand ready to maintain close communication with relevant countries and departments,” Hua Chunying said in the media briefing.
The next meeting of the joint working group is likely to be held in Dhaka in June next year, sources at the Foreign Ministry said.
Senior government officials of the four countries and representatives of relevant international organizations attended the meeting for in-depth discussions on the prospects of the economic corridor, priority areas of cooperation and institutional building.
A broad consensus has been reached on cooperation in transportation infrastructure, investment, commerce and trade, cultural and people-to-people exchanges and other specific areas.
Chinese Premier Li Leqiang proposed to build the economic corridor during his visit to India last May.
The initiative, which was warmly received by India, Bangladesh and Myanmar, is of great significance to the in-depth growth of friendly and cooperative relations among the four countries and the connectivity between East Asia and South Asia.
The four countries are giving priority to the economic corridor with a view to expanding trade and investment under the ambit of sub-regional cooperation in the four Eastern South Asian countries.
Bangladesh is giving the BCIM due importance as two emerging economic powerhouses like China and India are part of it, creating a scope for Bangladesh to benefit from its location right in the middle of the region covered, officials said.
In the past three and half decades, China’s economy has been growing at an average rate of nearly 10 percent, and her GDP and trade volume have reached US$ 8.2 trillion and US$ 3.87 trillion respectively last year.
The per capita GDP of Chinese people has gone up at an astonishing rate, from US$ 155 in 1978 to US$ 6100 in 2012.
China’s fast development is also contributing to the prosperity of the world. In 2012, China’s contribution to the world GDP growth was 60.9 percent. China now is the biggest trade partner for 128 countries worldwide.
BCIM agree on jt research on ‘Economic Corridor’