by Staff Correspondent,
Dhaka – Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged the Japanese entrepreneurs to invest more in her country as she believes Bangladesh ensures a solid future for global investors.
“We can confidently assure you that Bangladesh ensures a solid future for global investors. We thus welcome all investors from world over, and Japanese investors in particular to see the opportunities for investment in Bangladesh,” the prime minister said.
She was speaking at the opening Bangladesh Investment Summit at The Westin, Tokyo during her first leg of tri-nation visit in Japan.
Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission(BSEC)and Bangladesh Investment Development Authority(BIDA)jointly organized the summit titled “Trade and Investment Opportunities between Bangladesh and Japan.
The Prime Minister is scheduled to visit the United States and United Kingdom on completion of her Japan tour.
Hasina said despite a business friendly atmosphere, Bangladesh could not draw desire volume of investment as of now and her government seeks more investment from Japan.
“I invite you all to come to Bangladesh and explore the potentials of business and investment opportunities,” she told the gathering attended by leading Japanese industrialists.
With more than 170 million people, Bangladesh is itself a growing market while its location in the heart of a bigger market of nearly three billion consumers, provides a huge attraction for business expansion.
She said her country is going to be a regional hub for investment, industrialization and export due to its pragmatic policies that made returns on investment consistently high.
Bangladesh’s business friendly fiscal and non-fiscal policies and incentives, stable democracy, prudent governance and leadership guarantees foreign investment will return good value, she added.
She said that the HSBC Global Research Projection report indicates that Bangladesh is expected to become the 9th largest consumer market globally by 2030 overtaking the UK and Germany.
The Premier reminded that her government successfully tackled the economic shocks triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic and trying to maintain economic growth amid the pressure from the volatile world economic situation over the Ukraine war.
“Bangladesh has maintained economic growth and achieved 7.1% GDP growth rate in Fiscal year 2021-2022. Despite the Ukraine War, we are projecting 6.5% growth rate during the current fiscal year,” she said.
Hasina said that opportunities have increased considerably in different sectors such as ICT, electronics, infrastructure, leather, textile, hospitality and tourism, heavy industry, chemical and fertilizer, and in SMEs in Bangladesh.
“Our government is doing everything possible to facilitate smooth, easy and efficient ways of doing business,” she said mentioning that her government was constructing 100 Economic Zones, Hi-tech and Software Parks to offer them for foreign investment.
“I want to assure Japanese investors that Bangladesh is ready for you, and that you will have great experience once there. All required agencies and framework to facilitate your business have been set up for convenience,” she said.
A high-level joint platform like Public Private Joint Economic Dialogue (PPED) specially for facilitating Japanese investors in Bangladesh would be helpful, she said.
“Since, Bangladesh is going to graduate from LDC status by 2026, we are working with Japan to make possible an Economic Partnership Agreement to expand bilateral trade and investment,” she said.
The Premier expressed happiness over seeing collaboration between Bangladeshi and Japanese companies.
Noting that the number of Non-resident Bangladeshis (NRBs) and people of Bangladeshi origin living in Japan are gradually increasing, she said they provide significant support to Bangladesh’s economic activities through their remittances.
“I also urge them to develop more entrepreneurship, engage in business initiatives and joint ventures with their Japanese friends,” she said.
The Premier said Bangladesh is moving forward to a prosperous future.
“We want you all to be partners in our development and achievements. Do invest in Bangladesh. We are confident that your investment will bring you huge success”, she said.
Bangladesh, as a country, is now cited as a “Role model for development” and sets examples in many fields ranging from poverty reduction, empowerment of women, digitalization, food production, and in addressing climate change challenges, she said.
“We are determined in our journey towards a modern, developed and knowledge-based “Smart Bangladesh” by 2041,” she said.
Bangladesh celebrated the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Japan last year.
She said Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was an ardent admirer of Japan and its amazing development model rising from the ashes of devastation of World War II.
“Soon on 10 February 1972, Japan gave recognition to our new country. Thereafter, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman visited Japan in October 1973 and laid the foundation of the two countries’ lasting friendship,” she said.
Eleven Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) between private companies from Bangladesh and Japan that include JCCI and FBCCI were exchanged in presence of Bangladesh Prime minister.
Chairman (senior Secretary) of BSEC Professor Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam made a presentation. Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, PM’s Private Industry and Investment Affairs Adviser Salman Fazlur Rahman, State Minister for Foreign Minister Shahriar Alam, State Minister Information Communication and Technology Zunaid Ahmed Palak and BIDA Executive Chairman (Senior Secretary) Lokman Hossain Miah, among others, were present, according to state-run Bangladesh Sangbad Snagstha news agency.
Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, Nishimura Yasutoshi, Chairman of Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Ishiguro Norihiko, Chairman, Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) Ken Kobayashi alongside CEOs and top business leaders from Japan and Bangladesh were present.