Govt will head to great lengths for more Japanese investment

July 25, 2020 Business
The federal government has assured that potential investors from Japan will get full cooperation in a bid to operate a vehicle up the amount of investments made in Bangladesh from businesses of the island nation.

"The strength and stability of our economy and our strong political leadership is undoubted. We are very grateful to be looked at as a possible vacation spot for further Japanese investments," said Salman F Rahman, the primary minister's private industry and investment affairs adviser.

Rahman made these remarks even while addressing a good virtual discussion styled, 'Dialogue to operate a vehicle Japanese investments in Bangladesh' jointly organised by the Prime Minister's Office, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on Wednesday.

Over 200 participants from Japan's private sector joined the webinar, targeted at attracting investments from the island nation.

During the function, Rahman urged Japanese businesses to have good thing about Bangladesh's high business profitability, business-friendly policies, large domestic promote and strategic usage of key markets around the world.

While addressing the function, Ito Naoki, japan ambassador to Bangladesh, asked investors from his country to explore the various investment prospects available here.

Bangladesh's monetary landscape will transform in a couple of years with satisfactory support from the Japanese government, Naoki said.

The ambassador also mentioned Japan's cooperation in the Bay of Bengal Industrial Growth Belt initiative, the Mass Rapid Transit project and the expansion of Dhaka's Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.

"The Moheshkhali-Matarbari Integrated Infrastructure Development Initiative (MIDI), a power hub, is a video game changer for Bangladesh," he added.

Naoki also reiterated Japan's commitment towards Bangladesh's development found in select sectors such as for example agriculture, healthcare and human resource development.

"The Japanese government includes a menu for cooperation. We will leverage that as much as possible," he said.

Bangladesh Expenditure Development Authority's (BIDA) Executive Chairman Md Sirazul Islam highlighted the profitability of the country's domestic industry as found by JETRO's survey in Asian and Oceania for two years on a row.

"Bangladesh currently has above 300 Japanese companies. In a 2019 survey, it had been discovered that 70.3 % of Japanese companies are prepared to expand their functions in Bangladesh, which remains the best proportion in Asia and Oceania," he said.

The BIDA chief discussed the many initiatives being taken to improve the country's organization climate through Simple Doing Business reforms and the expansion of an online One Stop Program.

"BIDA's online and interoperable One Stop Service previously provides 18 e-payment enabled products and services of three firms and can provide 34 more offerings of 15 government companies within the year.

"With the PMO's instruction, we are preparing an attractive package meant for investors," Islam added.

The BIDA executive chairman also pointed out various measures taken by the federal government to simplify dividend and profit repatriation.

Foreign companies is now able to access working capital loans from parent companies.

"And at the moment, we happen to be working to further liberalise the purchase regime for foreign businesses," Islam said.

On Tuesday, Bangladesh Bank announced that all banks and non-banking establishments can now extend financial support to foreign firms against their overseas guarantees. Likewise, the bill-of-entry procedure was as well simplified through automation. 

"Our economic zones provide you with the infrastructural support you will need, both on and off-site, at incredibly competitive land prices in comparison to neighbouring countries," explained Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority's (BEZA) Executive Chairman Paban Chowdhury.

A 1,000-acre financial zone to be exclusively used by Japanese firms is being developed in Araihazar upazila of Narayanganj, which is Bangladesh's first ever economical zone beneath the government-to-government initiative.

Chowdhury likewise mentioned the fiscal and non-fiscal incentives available and highlighted other proactive measures including the establishment of abilities development centres at economic zones.

The full total value of funds expected to be invested in simply three of the economical zones amounts to almost $17 billion, which $8 billion should come from foreign investment in making, he said while quoting UNCTAD.

"But beyond incentives, what's also very significant is our non-stop dedication, service delivery mechanism and the speed with which we respond to issues brought up by investors," Chowdhury added.

"The Bangladesh industry is a strategic priority for Honda," said Yuichiro Ishii, CEO and managing director of Honda Bangladesh, which established its primary factory in the united states back in 2018.

"Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the demand for motorcycles has truly gone up therefore have our revenue and shares. Beyond export, the potential of the Bangladeshi domestic industry is too large to miss," he added.

An official of the Marubeni Corporation, operating on Bangladesh since 1950s, discussed the business's profitable ventures on textile, infrastructure and fertilizer.

Marubeni's General Manager Hikari Kawai highlighted the effectiveness of joint platforms like the Japan-Bangladesh Joint Public Private Economic Dialogue, Japan Bangladesh Society and the Japan Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Sector (JBCCI).

"The attention provided to Japanese investors and easy disposal of issues can't be expressed in numbers," said Kenta Ono, assistant standard manager of Sumitomo Corporation, which is developing the Japanese monetary zone at Araihazar.

The macroeconomic steadiness and diligence of Bangladeshi persons cannot be understated, he added.

Ono advised prospective investors to utilise the offerings of BIDA and BEZA as being their entry points.

The views shared through this initiative are proof Bangladesh's readiness as market, said Zuena Aziz, principal coordinator (SDG affairs) of the Prime Minister's Office, in her concluding remarks.

"It had been a pleasure to find out about the activities of Japanese businesses operating found in Bangladesh. We have used detailed notes of all of your suggestions and we will speedily respond and resolve all issues," Aziz said.

You will find a special appreciation for Japanese innovation and tech-driven solutions in Bangladesh, said Wendy Werner, country manager of IFC (Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal).

The bottom for investment can be paved well with strong ties predicated on diplomacy and monetary cooperation and IFC will continue to support private sector advancement in Bangladesh, since it is among the world's virtually all promising emerging marketplaces, she said.

Bangladesh isn't just a good gateway to South Asia, but also to Southeast Asia, said Hayakawa Yuho, chief representative of JICA Bangladesh.

"It is the speediest growing economy in the Asia-Pacific region. We have witnessed Bangladesh's determination and it'll be the new frontier for Japanese expense," Yuho added.
Source: Thedaily Star

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