Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to visit Bangladesh

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is expected to arrive in Dhaka today, where he will meet with his Bangladeshi counterpart A.K. Abdul Momen.

Wang will likely sign and renew memorandums of understanding with Momen. Potential topics include the expansion of Chinese foreign direct investment and the handover of the 8th Bangladesh-China Friendship Bridge to the Bangladeshi government. Almost a third of Bangladesh’s imports come from China, and China has promised to invest $40 billion into joint ventures and infrastructure projects through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). However, in June, India conducted joint military exercises with Bangladesh in order to deepen their long-standing defense partnership, a link which mitigates closer Chinese ties.

The memorandums will likely lay out a roadmap for BRI investments in the short term. Most of the funding is likely to flow into transportation infrastructure like ports, bridges and roads. Expect this newly built infrastructure to decrease transportation costs for Bangladeshi businesses, which will improve their productivity and increase the volume of the country’s exports. Bangladesh will likely deepen both its economic links with China and its security links with India in the long term in order to avoid becoming a full client state of either.