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Political stability, bigger market attract Chinese investors to Bangladesh

By Tanzim Anwar

DHAKA, Sept 12, 2017 (BSS) - Bangladesh is becoming more lucrative to more and more Chinese investors comparing to other South and South East Asian countries for its political stability and larger local market.

"In recent years, many Chinese investors have chosen to invest in Bangladesh than other countries as political situation is more stable here besides the government's strong commitment to facilitate foreign investment," Caichunlei, a Chinese industrialist told BSS recently.

Caichunlei is one of the owners and managing director of Panda Shoes, a fully Chinese owned footwear factory in Gazipur that is producing three lakh shoes per month employing nearly 1,500 local employees.

"I have chosen Bangladesh to invest for two main reasons - friendly relationship of the two nations and huge local market in Bangladesh," he said, adding "Cheap labour is a fact here, but it is not all to invest."

He said his company invested 10 million US dollars four years back to set up the factory. Currently, a new unit of the factory is being constructed and it would double the production capacity as well as local employment opportunity.

The Chinese entrepreneur said Bangladesh has huge population and their buying capacity is increasing as the country's economy is getting bigger day by day.

"Our aim is to give cheap but quality footwear to Bangladeshi people. I have a dream to see that all Bangladeshi people could afford quality shoes one day."

The owner of Panda shoes has also a plan to supply quality shoes to Bangladesh market as low as Taka 500 only.

Lauding the fast economic growth of Bangladesh, Caichunlei predicted that Bangladesh would be able to reach as like as present China within less than 20 years.

"Even 30 years back, China was as same as where Bangladesh is right now. I think Bangladesh will become a developed country within a few decades," he said.

The Chinese industrialist suggested increasing Chittagong port facilities and improving road connectivity within Bangladesh to give a boost to the country's economic growth.

"Apart from doing business here, we also do some social work such as distributing shoes to a number of local poor students every year at a free of cost," he said.

Recently, the Panda Shoes made a makeshift bridge on a road which was inundated by floodwater and nearly 10,000 water-stranded people got benefit from the bridge.

"It cost us Taka 10 lakh to construct the makeshift bridge. But, we did it. We do believe that we also have some social responsibilities as we are doing business here," the Chinese entrepreneur said.