Bengal Port

DHAKA, June 4, 2014 (AFP) – Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is likely to seek Chinese funding to build a deep sea port in the Bay of Bengal when she visits Beijing later this week, officials said Wednesday. The proposed port on Sonadia Island off Bangladesh’s southeast coast would cost billions of dollars, but Bangladeshi newspapers have reported that Hasina hopes Beijing will pay part of the bill if a Chinese firm wins the contract.

The country’s foreign ministry said the port would feature in the bilateral discussions when Hasina travels to China on Friday on a six-day visit.

“During the tour the two nations may discuss Chinese assistance for the Sonadia Deep Sea Port,” Foreign Minister Mahmood Ali told journalists on Wednesday at a briefing two days ahead of Hasina’s departure for Beijing.

Another senior official in the prime minister’s office confirmed that the port project was expected to feature in discussions although he wouldn’t say whether any kind of deal would be signed.

The country’s largest circulation Bengali daily, Prothom Alo, has reported that state-owned China Harbour is in line to build the port.

It said an announcement to this effect would be made after the meeti