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Bangladesh Drop $8bn Chinese Mega-Project

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Bangladesh may put to bed an US$8 billion deepwater port project, which was to be built by the Chinese, in favour of another port project to be developed by the Japanese in Matarbari, according to Reuters.

PTI previously reported that Japan was edging out China as the stronger competitor for building the 18-metre-deep port, which is set to begin construction in 2016.

Mustafa Kamal, Planning Minister of the Bangladeshi government, said: “Matarbari is designed in such a way that it will be comprehensive, with power plants, an LNG terminal and a port. Matarbari is sufficient, we may have to give up the other port project.”

Mustafa Kamal added that the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) had offered 80% financing on good terms, which includes the port complex in Matarbari, as well as four coal-fired power plants.

The project is of global importance due to its connection with China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative, with the port providing a key gateway for growing trade in and out of Bangladesh. Bangladesh is currently one of the world’s biggest exporters of garments.

Japan recently begun trade talks with Turkmenistan for the investment and development of the Port of Turkmenbashi.

The Turkmenistan project is anticipated to be completed in 2016.

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