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UPDATED: 17:28, January 11, 2005
Bangladesh makes no progress on "Look East" policy
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Bangladesh's "Look East" policy has made no progress as the initiative which "limited in words, not in reality", observed a parliamentary committee here Monday.

According to the daily New Age on Tuesday, the Parliamentary Committee on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at a meeting on Monday made this observation, and asked the ministry to make diplomatic efforts to remove the apparent constraints hampering closer ties with China, Japan and South Korea, especially China, which the committee members said is a "tested friend of Bangladesh."

The committee suggested that the government renew and strengthen relations with the countries in South-East Asia. Ruling party lawmakers asked the authorities concerned to develop relations with China, Japan and South Korea, said committee chairman Barrister Ziaur Rahman, who presided over the meeting.

Rahman said the country's diplomatic relations should focus mainly on trade and business, and in this perspective relations with China and Japan need to be developed a greater degree.

After taking power in 2001, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led alliance government adopted the Look-East policy in its efforts to enhance the country's trade and business. However, manyof the committee members found that the policy is limited to words only and, in reality, very little progress has been made.

The meeting underscored the need for establishing stronger air and road communication between Bangladesh and China, said Rahman.

He was referring to Beijing's "Kun Ming Initiative", a plan to construct a highway connecting Bangladesh and China through Myanmar.

Reaz Rahman, advisor to of the Foreign Ministry, also told the meeting that the Kun Ming Initiative is very important for Bangladesh since it would be of immense benefit to the country's trade and business.

The meeting also discussed how the country would celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of relations with China, oneof the biggest partners of Bangladesh in trade, development and investment.

Source: Xinhua

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