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BRI promotes health without borders

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By Mohammad Arman Hossain | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-08-14 15:58

Mohammad Arman Hossain is assisting da vinci robotic Radical Prostatectomy surgery with Professor He at the First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University.

China's Belt and Road Initiative is an ambitious and multi-faceted strategy aimed at boosting the flow of trade, capital, and services between China and more than 60 other countries, including Bangladesh. The vision is to create or improve infrastructure, capital-raising, and trade alliance conditions that will facilitate greater trade and investment.

Bangladesh officially became part of the BRI in 2016 after a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping, when the two countries signed several deals worth $21.5 billion. China has already shown interest in developing a deep-sea port in Bangladesh under the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiative. Memoranda of understanding have also been signed with China to build several components of the Pyra deep sea-port.

Thus Bangladesh, as a participating country, will obviously benefit from this initiative. In addition, at the Summit, Xi announced China would contribute an additional 100 billion yuan ($14.5 billion) to the Silk Road Fund. China will provide assistance worth 60 billion yuan in the coming three years to developing countries and international organizations participating in the BRI.

Moreover, it has pledged to provide emergency food aid worth 2 billion yuan to developing countries along the Belt and Road and make an additional contribution of $1 billion to the Assistance Fund for South-South Cooperation, 100 "happy home" projects, 100 poverty alleviation projects and 100 health care and rehabilitation projects in countries along the Belt and Road. It has also promised to set up 50 joint laboratories with countries participating in the BRI to enhance cooperation on innovation.

In the medical sector, a very good relationship has already been established between Bangladesh and China. The China-Bangladesh Friendship Hospital, established in the latter country, is a sign of this bond. Every year thousands of students come to China for their medicine bachelor's degrees, and hundreds are coming to do post–graduate work in various sectors. Some of them already contribute much — every year, hundreds of Bangladeshi government doctors visit China for training and to improve their medical knowledge.

The BRI could introduce a new era of win-win globalization. Bangladesh needs to utilize its geographic location and harness the benefits from this initiative. Thus full cooperation with China to make this initiative successful will be a wise decision for Bangladesh, as this century is all about shared prosperity and development.

Dr. Mohammad Arman Hossain from Bangladesh is a China Scholarship Council master's student at Chongqing Medical University.