MNA Business Desk: As part of chasing Chinese money, Bangladesh now eyes fresh funds from the Asian giant for implementing six new key projects.
The projects involving several billions of dollars are seen as crucial to the socio-economic development of the country, and the relevant ministries recently placed a list with the Chinese officials.
The projects included the construction fo Bhola Bridge on Barisal-Bhola road over the rivers Tetulia and Kalabadar, the procurement of six sea-going vessels, the establishment of Sheikh Hasina Institute of Information Technology and Hi-Tech park and the construction of Core Port Infrastructure of Pyra Port
An official of the finance ministry, preferring anonymity, told the FE that the projects were discussed in the latest meeting between Bangladesh and China held in December.
“The Chinese side received the list and said that they would let us know about their decision shortly,” he added.
The list of these projects was placed on the heel of the slow implementation of the 27 projects, for which China has committed nearly US$ 20 billion.
A few months ago, China showed its reluctance in accepting any new projects and urged Bangladesh not to send any new project proposals.
But after negotiations, they have agreed to receive list of new proposals, people familiar with the situation said.
As the government has already decided not to implement three of the 27 projects, it has created an opportunity for getting Chinese fund for fresh projects, officials said.
The government has already decided not to implement the Dhaka-Sylhet four-lane highway project worth $ 2.1 billion and the $521 million pre-payment metering projects with the Chinese fund as work for these projects has already started with funds from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Another project for extending the existing underground mining operations of Barapukuria Coal mine adjacent to the southern and the northern side of the Basin to increase the present production capacity was included in the list of 27, but the government has now decided to implement it with its own fund. The project costs $256.41 million.
Among the six new projects, the construction of the Bhola Bridge to connect Bhola district with the mainland, will be the costliest.
Two Chinese companies have already submitted letters of interest for the 9.2 kilometres bridge, potentially the longest in the country. The preliminary cost of the bridge is estimated at $3.0 billion.
The shipping ministry’s project to procure six vessels is also included in the list of new projects.