Bangladesh has joined several countries complaining about the onerous terms of loan agreements under the so-called Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) infrastructure program of China that seeks to build highways and ports serving primarily China’s economic interests.
Photo Insert: Bangladesh wants tweaks to the loan agreement amid the rising number of dubious BRI loans.
In a report for Nikkei, Syful Islam said Bangladesh wants tweaks to the loan agreement amid the rising number of dubious BRI loans, delays in Chinese investments, and conflicts with the people of debtor nations.
Among the cases cited were that of Pakistan, where China has been slammed for frequent power outages, Sri Lanka, where an airport and a port built by China have become white elephants, as well as in Africa, where deadly clashes have occurred between Chinese mining operators and residents.
Among the issues raised by Bangladesh officials were the provisions on cancelation, dispute, maturity, and fee policies that they want amended. Bangladesh aims to build a China-backed water treatment plant, but it hopes to secure better loan terms first.
The new $276 million "tied loan" -- for a specific project whose contractor is chosen by the Chinese side without a competitive tender -- will be supplied by the Export-Import Bank of China.