Though the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) project of China is important for development it is involved with geo-politics.
The location of our country is situated in between the proximity of India and China. Under such geo-political location it is very important for Bangladesh to maintain balance of power and how can reap benefits from both the neighbors if it connects with BRI. So it needs open discussion to strike an appropriate national policy on it.
Speakers said these in the inaugural session of an International conference on Sunday (Sept.8) held at a Restaurant of Gulshan in the capital. Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD) organized the conference titled ‘Belt and Road Initiative positioning Bangladesh within comparative perspectives’.
Chairman of CPD professor Rehman Sobhan said if we want to join BRI then after understanding the economy of China we are to bargain. When we will bargain, then we are to consider our national interest above all. So it needs research. To know about future economy China and also to know about the thoughts of their think tanks, we are to engage some non –government research organizations as partners. Because huge research on BRI is going on in China.
Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque addressing the conference said that though BRI is very much important but we are also to look outside of it. We are not only thinking about trade, technology and communication we are also thinking about politics. Because it is also a geo-political matter. The geo-politics also changes with the passage of time. There are changes of power politics. Whenever any change takes place in power politics then new opportunities are evolved.
Distinguished fellow of CPD Dr. Devapriyo Bhattaycharjee said that BRI is a good initiative of China. I believe that Bangladesh has also a desire to join it. But there are many factors for consideration. As for example the projects which are already under consideration - whether the national interest is being served and during financing it must be looked into the matters that due to financing will Bangladesh be trapped into debt, will the projects create any adverse impact on our climate and over all how much our business community will be benefitted are to be looked into seriously.
He said that there should be open discussion on BRI. It is very important to determine national policy after open discussion.
The inaugural session conducted by CPD Trustee board member Syed Manju Elahi, the key note paper was presented by Dr. Fahmida Khatun. Among others Professor Cheng Min, Dr. Sachinn Chaturbedi and Bangladesh Ambassador to China Mahbubuzzaman took part in the discussion.
It may be mentioned here that to alleviate poverty, to create employment opportunity, to tackle melting of global economy, conversion to market based industry and for spreading the economy, China introduced Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). President of China Xi Jinping in 2013 announced this initiative. Many countries have already joined the BRI. Though Bangladesh has not yet joined BRI directly but some projects of BRI are under process of implementation here.