July 25, 2021, 6:44 am

Diplomatic correspondent

2021-06-09 16:50:55 BdST

Pragmatic talks underway over vaccine procurement, coproduction: Chinese envoy

Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming on Wednesday said a "very pragmatic" discussion is underway on procurement of COVID-19 vaccine doses from China to meet Bangladesh's needs.

He also said there is very "encouraging progress" between the two countries over coproduction of vaccines.

The Ambassador was addressing a virtual discussion on “Bangladesh-China Economic and Trade Relations in the aftermath of the COVID-19 Global Pandemic” jointly organised by Economic Reporters’ Forum (ERF) and Bangladesh China Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCCI).

Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi spoke at the event as the chief guest.

Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) Md. Sirazul Islam, Bangladesh Ambassador to China Mahbub Uz Zaman, Senior Vice President, BCCCI Brig Gen Shah Md Sultan Uddin Iqbal, Joint Secretary General BCCCI Al Mamun Mridha and ERF President Sharmeen Rinvi and other leaders of FBCCI also spoke.

Eminent Trade Economist Dr Mohammad Abdur Razzaque presented the keynote paper at the event moderated by ERF General Secretary SM Rashidul Islam.

Ambassador Li said China will never forget Bangladesh's solidarity with China by supplying badly needed medical supplies which was followed by support to Bangladesh as part of friendship between the two countries.

He said China will deliver second consignment of vaccine doses for Bangladesh as a gift of the Chinese government within next few days. "I hope the process will be completed by June 13."

Just nine days after the arrival of the first batch of 500,000 doses of gift vaccine in Bangladesh on May 12, China announced the provision of the second batch of gift vaccine doses to Bangladesh.

China says it fully reflects that China attaches great importance to the friendly relations between the two countries.

On May 27, Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase approved a proposal for buying 1.5 crore doses of Sinopharm's Covid-19 vaccine.

Bangladesh is expecting to get 50 lakh doses of vaccine from China in June, July and August.

Ambassador Li said the two countries will continue to work in new areas of cooperation in the coming days.

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