Visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has stressed further improvement in Bangladesh’s investment environment to get increased Japanese investment.
“For the promotion of investment from Japan, I would like to ask the further improvement of investment environment reflecting the voices of Japanese cooperation,” Abe said.
The Japanese Prime Minister was addressing the closing ceremony of Bangladesh-Japan Business Forum at the city’s Sonargaon Hotel yesterday.
Bangladesh Board of Investment (BoI), Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) jointly arranged the event participated by a large number of business leaders from both the countries.
Abe termed 2014 a ‘memorable and special’ year in the two countries relations mentioning that in March this year Japanese Foreign Affairs Minister Fumio Kishida visited Dhaka while the Bangladesh Prime Minister visited Tokyo in May.
“Now I’m in Dhaka…through such high-level exchanges of top leaders, we entered a new level of cooperation,” Abe said while delivering his speech in Japanese language.
Later, a Japanese official interpreted his speech in English for the reporters.
The Japanese Prime Minister said both the countries announced ‘comprehensive partnership’ in May this year. “We’re going to help each other like sister and brother. We’re aiming to grow and develop together ensuring mutual benefits.”
Recalling the role of businessmen in development process, Abe said, “Those who are in the business circle of the two countries you’re very important players in achieving this partnership (for mutual development).”
He expressed his happiness to see the participation of large number of businessmen from the two countries and said Bangladesh’s export to Japan has massively increased in the past years.
The Japanese Prime Minister also mentioned about US$ 6-billion dollar economic cooperation to Bangladesh over the next 4-5 years, including US$ 1.2 billion that has been provided (committed) in May this year.
Abe also talked about the Bay of Bengal Industrial Growth Belt (BIG-B) initiative proposed in the May summit meeting with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
He said Japan wants to cooperate under the initiative for the economic development of Bangladesh and infrastructure improvement to promote industry and achieve a better investment environment.
The Japanese Prime Minister laid emphasis on three major areas of infrastructure improvement, stable supply of power and energy, urban development, especially development of an economic zone and private sect development.
“I hope in these areas Japanese technologies will be used. By doing so, I’m convinced this will bring mutual benefit for the two countries.
About Matarbari coal-fired power plant, Abe said they have already provided US$ 400 million of ODA loan for the construction of highly efficient power plant. “This is one of the flagships cooperation between the two countries.”
Abe said both sides had the first public private economic dialogue in Dhaka which was very positive one. “We’re working together to come up with the ideas and try to take actions to strengthen economic relationship.”
Industries Minister Ammir Hossain Amu, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, BoI Executive Chairman SA Samad, State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam, Bangladesh Bank Governor Dr Atiur Rahman, Chairman and CEO of JETRO Hiroyuki Ishige, FBCCI Presdient Kazi Akram Uddin Ahmed, Mir Group Managing Director Mir Nasir Hossain and Western Marine Shipyard Limited Managing Director M Sakhwat Hossain also spoke on the occasion.
Top business executives of Japanese companies also spoke at the programme highlighting their company profiles and possible areas of cooperation between the two countries.
Abe stresses proper environ to get more Japanese investment