bdnews24.com : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has appreciated China’s “proactive role” in establishing an economic corridor through Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) while greeting her Chinese counterpart on the occasion of the ‘Chinese New Year’. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday said Hasina in a message also thanked Li Keqiang for his felicitation after her much-debated return to power. Hasina also assured Keqiang of Bangladesh’s efforts to strengthen its existing friendly relations with China, its “time-tested friend”. A brain-child of China, BCIM became an official policy after Keqiang’s visit to India last May. He proposed building the economic corridor to boost regional stability and furthering economic partnerships. The corridor is expected to ease the flow of goods between the world’s two largest economies, India and China, and providing greater economic resources to the burgeoning markets of Bangladesh and Myanmar. The four member countries, with their total GDP of $9,300 billion, have every potential to become a strong block in global politics. The present Bangladesh government, stressing regional relations than distant Western friends, has also backed the BCIM initiative as mentioned by the Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed. “We cannot work with the SAARC and SAFTA the way we want to. I think, we will benefit more if we can go ahead with the BCIM properly,” he said on Sunday. Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith also said that they were laying a greater emphasis on relations with China because of its global economic influence. “Bangladesh Prime Minister also deeply appreciated the proactive role of China in establishing the BCIM Economic Corridor,” read the foreign ministry’s Thursday statement. After the much-debated Jan 5 elections that were boycotted by BNP, India and China unhesitatingly backed the government when the US openly called for a fresh election “as soon as possible”. Also known as ‘Spring Festival’, Chinese New Year is a traditional Chinese holiday celebrated at the turn of the Chinese calendar.