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Smart Bangladesh says it will work with China but will dodge a debt trap

Bangladesh foreign minister AK Abdul Momen (Image courtesy-Twitter)

Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has assured citizens that there is no fear of falling into any kind of Chinese debt trap as the volume of loans from Beijing is not significantly huge. Dhaka’s loan from China is only around 5 per cent, he told media persons after the Branding Bangladesh conference.

According to the Financial Express Bangladesh, the minister said that though a set of ignorant people has been trying to propagate that Dhaka “is becoming the tail of China as it procures 80 per cent of its defence equipment from that country” there was no truth in it.

“Dhaka purchases defence equipment from many countries including India, he said, adding that Bangladesh's military knows what to purchase from where,” the newspaper reported.

Also read: Dogged India must work hard to nurture friendship with Bangladesh to develop a peaceful northeast: Doraiswami

The minister at the ‘Branding Bangladesh’ conference, said that economic diplomacy remained the thrust of his ministry.

"We wish to connect the real-time market opportunities with a solid financial feedback loop. We wish to connect the agile minds and the nimble hands of the Bangladesh youth – men and women – to the global supply solutions," said the minister.

Bangladesh, which is now gearing up to exit the list of least developed nations (LDC) by 2026, has launched a massive exercise aiming to rebrand itself on the global fora to woo investors. While the Sheikh Hasina administration is set to offer a host of incentives to foreign investors, the foreign ministry will also play an important role.

From being one of the poorest nations at birth in 1971 with per capita GDP tenth lowest in the world, Bangladesh reached lower-middle-income status in 2015, a World Bank report noted.