Recently we are very shocked to hear the news of assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe & thus Bangladesh has lost a good friend. Bangladesh and Japan’s good relation has grown to a new height during his tenure. Japan is the time-tested friend of Bangladesh since our independence. Bangladesh and Japan have historically strong bond of friendship. The relationship between the people of these two countries is of the highest level now. The diplomatic relations of the two countries began in 1972. The bilateral relations got deepened with increasing Japanese assistance to Bangladesh in the 1972s in a post-war situation when Bangladesh was in need to rebuild her economy. Japan’s economic cooperation with Bangladesh is focused on issues by Official Development Assistance (ODA), Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Public Private Partnership (PPP) and bilateral trade.
Japanese engineers, experts, workers and nationals are relentlessly working and participating in ongoing development projects of Bangladesh. Japan continues support to Bangladesh in its development efforts. Japan has identified its priority areas as follows: (1) agriculture, rural development and improvement of agricultural productivity, (2) improvement in the social sector (basic human needs, human resource development), (3) basic infrastructure for investment and export promotion, and (4) disaster management. Japan has invested to build Matarbari port and power plant and construction of a part of the Metro-Rail Rapid Mass Transport project. Now it is evident that Japanese assistance to our development efforts continues to increase. It is also the great opportunities and high time for the Japanese people for investing in Bangladesh.
The Bangladesh government expects more Japanese investment and has offered an exclusive economic zone for Japanese investors and it can also be located near Matarbari. Bangladesh offers another economic zone for Japanese investors in Araihazar, Narayanganj. Recently Japan has proposed to invest $8.38 billion, equivalent to Tk. 71,000 crore, through public-private partnership (PPP) to implement five transport projects. Dhaka seeks other two new projects: 1) Upgradation of Nabinagar-Paturia Road Project, 2) Mitsubishi to submit proposal for concession, operation and maintenance of Airport Terminals.
Bangladesh-Japan relation has been cemented more during the reign of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe through the biggest economic cooperation. Japan can invest in possible potential sectors like big infrastructures (more bridges & railways), RMGs, energy and power, education, ICT, ports and aviation, tourism sectors, the blue economy, deep sea ports, leather and jute industries, light engineering, jewelry, plastic products, human resource development and other agro-related industries. Bangladesh can send to Japan skilled professionals (doctors, engineers, agriculturists, teachers etc.), semi-skilled, unskilled labor and can export rice, jute & jute goods, fruits & vegetables, garment products, rod, cement, fish, marine & other aquatic products etc. Bangladeshi students can study in Japan. Bangladesh and Japan are peace loving countries and express same views in the most of the world socio-economic and political issues. To reap the opportunities of globalization, technological advancement and digitization, both the country can increase bilateral cooperation, especially in the field of economic and trade development. We have lost a good friend though the assassination of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who was always in favor of Bangladesh development. We hope that the relation with Japan will remain the same as that was before and will not be hampered in any way. We hope the relation of the two countries will further deepened with the biggest economic and bilateral trade cooperation.
The writer is a columnist and can be reached at [email protected]