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Bangladesh to push China to use Chittagong

Bangladesh to push China to use Chittagong

Dhaka: Bangladesh will aim to persuade China to use Chittagong port as a commercial outlet for its southern Yunnan province, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said on Sunday.
"It will be a great achievement if China agrees to use our Chittagong port, which we want to develop into a regional commercial hub by building a deep seaport in the Bay of Bengal," she told a news conference.
The offer for Chittagong port to Beijing will be discussed when Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visits China from Wednesday on a five-day itinerary, Moni said.
The south Asian country has taken plans to build an $8.7 billion deep-sea port in three phases to raise bulk cargo handling capacity to 100 million tonnes and container handling to 3 million teu annually.
Presently the port handles 30.5 million tonnes of bulk cargo and 1.1 million teu annually.
Port officials said when built the port would serve Nepal, Bhutan, southern China, Myanmar and the northeastern region of India.
To use Chittagong port China will need a road or railway link or both between Kunming, the capital of southern Yunnan province with Chittagong via Myanmar, Moni said.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during her visit to China would discuss the 1,800 kilometres Chittagong-Kunming road and rail network through Myanmar to boost trade, commerce and technical assistance between the two countries. [15/03/10]

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