Saturday, 27 November, 2021

Bangladesh seeks more FDI from Japan

  • Special Correspondent
  • 28 October, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news
Bangladesh seeks more FDI from Japan

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Bangladesh has sought to increase foreign direct investments from Japan under G2G and P2P modes.

“Japan is one of our leading partners in the plethora of the mega-projects in terms of finance, construction, capitalisation and technology,” said Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen.    

“There are many areas where Japan and Bangladesh could engage as partners in development – be that in the development of infrastructure, or be that in incubation of emerging sectors like ICT,” he said.

“Bangladesh welcomes investment, trade and engagement at both G2G and P2P levels,” Momen said at the launching of “Japan-Bangladesh Investment Summit 2021” on Wednesday.

The week-long summit is being held virtually.

Along with the traditional sectors like readymade garments and leather goods, Bangladesh is very interested to cooperate and have partnerships with Japan at different levels.

Bangladesh wants to and increase bilateral trade volume in energy sector, IT/ITES, fintech, pharmaceuticals, automotive and light engineering, small and medium enterprises, plastic products, jute and textiles, FMCG and biomedical engineering products, theminister said.

“We are very enthusiastic to be engaged in business, production and technology transfer in modern technology domains such as, but not limited to, Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics, advanced manufacturing and multidimensional printing, Fintech, advanced materials,” foreign minister said.

He also included semiconductor design/pre-fab/fabrication, new computing technologies, blockchain and distributed ledger technologies, Internet of Things (IoT), virtual and augmented realities, machine learning, deep learning, design space, biotechnologies, neuro technologies and biometrics.

The trade relation between Japan and Bangladesh is now at a unique height with a trade volume of $3 billion while the export to Japan is $1.2 billon and import from Japan is $1.8 billion, the minister said.

Japan is among top five foreign investors in Bangladesh according to the cumulative Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Momen informed.

“Over the last 50 years, we have received $16 billion funding from Japan for several development projects in Bangladesh.”

“There are already 320 Japanese companies engaged in ready-made garments, trading, development projects, service sector and private investment in Bangladesh,” foreign minister added.

Bangladeshis expecting a new wave of Japanese origin companies and joint ventures after the Japanese economic zone at Araihazarin Narayanganj is ready in 2022, the minister mentioned.

“Bangladesh deeply appreciates Japan's contribution and support in constructing more than 550 bridges, 117 cyclone shelters, supporting hundreds of SMEs and hundreds of ongoing technical cooperation projects,” he said. “While Japan is a very important development partner of Bangladesh, Bangladesh is also an important source of intermediate materials and a significant trade partner of Japan, as well as a noteworthy destination for investment,” Momen said.

“Leveraging on Bangladesh’s intrinsic geographic, economic, demographic and other plusses, I strongly believe that both countries can reap mutual benefit further by exploring further trade opportunities,” foreign minister said. Prime Minister’s adviser on private industry and investment Salman F Rahman,Japan ambassador to Bangladesh Ito Naoki and CEO of Standard Chartered Bangladesh also attended at the virtual Summit.

Foreign minister said Bangladesh has been able to achieve early recovery and maintain economic growth.

He said although the GDP growth rate of Bangladesh plummeted to 5.2 percent in 2020 from 8.2 percent in 2019, there has been already a sign of recovery in the economy.

He said the exports continued to increase and remittance inflow remained strong along with successful vaccination programme and stimulus funds.

Over the last decade, Bangladesh successfully maintained an average growth rate of nearly 7 percentor higher than its neighbours like India, Pakistan and even China.

The strategic geographical location of Bangladesh at the crossroads of South and Southeast Asia and at the northern apex of the Bay of Bengal offers Bangladesh an advantage position.

It also has demographic dividend, abundance of labour, stable political condition, astute leadership, infrastructural development, resilient and diligent population and strong connectivity with neighbours.

All of the factors have made Bangladesh an attractive investment destination, where return on investment is relatively high, foreign minister said.