A weeklong art and photography exhibition kicked off on Monday, marking the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to boost bilateral ties between Bangladesh and China.

Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Yao Wen attended the inaugural session of the exhibition at the National Art Gallery of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy as the chief guest.

The Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Bangladesh and the Association of Bangladesh-China Alumni (ABCA) are jointly organizing the exhibition while Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Confucius Institute of Dhaka University, Bangladesh-China Friendship Center, Confucius Institute of North South University, Confucius Classroom of SMUCT and Bangla Department of China Media Group (CMG) are the co-organizers of the program.

Professor Nisar Hossain, Dean of the Dhaka University Faculty of Fine Art attended the program as the special guest while former Ambassador Munshi Faiz Ahmad presided over the function that was also spoken by Liaquat Ali Lucky, Director General at Shilpakala Academy, Dr Yang Hui, Director at the Confucius Institute of Dhaka University and Professor Dr Shahabul Haque, general secretary of ABCA.

The Chinese envoy said that the people-to-people connectivity between Bangladesh and China would be strengthened through the BRI project.

"The seeds of friendship we planted together over the years have blossomed into what we see today and will yield even more fruitful results. The BRI project is helping Bangladesh to develop its road communication sector hugely, promoting overall development and industrialization," Yao said.

He added that through this exhibition people of Bangladesh will know better on how China works here and contributes to the development and rising economy of Bangladesh.

Underscoring that not only trade and economic ties but also the cultural connectivity between Bangladesh and China have been boosted through the BRI project, he added that China always stands by Bangladesh.

"Throughout this year, the Chinese Embassy in Bangladesh has orchestrated a series of cultural activities for the youth, facilitating exchanges by organizing groups of Bangladeshi youths to visit Yunnan, Anhui, Xinjiang, and other regions, resulting in commendable outcomes. Looking ahead, the embassy is committed to intensifying its efforts to promote friendly exchanges among the youth of both nations, supporting reciprocal visits and nurturing them to become the cornerstone of the enduring China-Bangladesh friendship," Ambassador Yao said.

Ahmad said that people-to-people connectivity and contacts are an important pillar of the BRI project, and mentioning that "This exhibition today shows this pillar," he added that alongside showing the BRI project, many pictures in the exhibition also represent the friendship between Bangladesh and China.

Addressing the event, Prof Nisar Hossain called on Bangladeshi students to go to China for higher study, especially for mastering the skills of fine art studies, noting that many top-ranking universities in the world are in China.

Referring to the art and photographs being displayed at the exhibition, Dr Hui added that the remarkable progress jointly done by Bangladesh and China has been represented through this exhibition.

The speakers also wished for the longevity of Bangladesh-China ties.

The exhibition is showcasing a total of 102 photos and artworks and will continue till December 2 at Gallery 2 of the National Art Gallery.

As the first South Asian nation, Bangladesh joined the BRI project in 2016.

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