- Dec 31, 2010
Japan to assist Bangladesh in six economic areasStaff Correspondent | Published: 23:17, Jan 29,2023
Japan has stepped up its efforts to cooperate with Bangladesh in six economic areas, including garment industry, automobile sector, clean energy, circular economy and ICT sector, as the issue was discussed in a meeting between commerce minister Tipu Munshi and Japanese ambassador to Bangladesh Iwama Kiminori on Sunday.
Proposed Free Trade Agreement or Economic Partnership Agreement was also discussed at the meeting held at commerce ministry in the city.
Earlier, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan proposed to cooperate with Bangladesh in six areas to strengthen bilateral trade and investment between the two countries.
Commerce minister Tipu Munshi urged the ambassador to encourage more Japanese investors to invest in special economic zones in Bangladesh.
‘Recently, METI, Japan expressed their interest to work with Bangladesh on six pillars and the issue was discussed in the meeting between the commerce minister and the Japanese ambassador,’ commerce ministry additional secretary Noor Md Mahbubul Haq told New Age following the meeting.
He said that Japan expressed its interest to cooperate with Bangladesh in readymade garment industry and establishing Bangladesh as global hub of supply chain.
Japan is also interested to work with Bangladesh in the areas of clean and sustainable energy, automobile manufacturing, circular economy and information communications technology, Noor said.
He said that the two parties discussed how the issue could be expedited.
Most probably, the proposal of METI would be aligned with a joint feasibility study for signing EPA or FTA, Noor said.
‘We have sought cooperation from Japan to face challenges of LDC graduation,’ he said.
In the meeting, commerce minister said that Bangladesh was preparing to sign FTA or EPA with different countries to retain duty-free market access after its graduation from least developed country to a developing one in 2026.
To facilitate the negotiation for FTA or EPA, Bangladesh is ready to work with Japan in a study group, Tipu Munshi said.
Japanese ambassador said that Japan had taken initiative to form a joint working group to pave the way for signing EPA with Bangladesh.
The envoy assured that Japan was interested to strengthen economic ties with Bangladesh and it would support Bangladesh to face graduation challenges.
Bangladesh and Japan on December 12 jointly announced the launching of the feasibility study on signing of a FTA or EPA to boost bilateral trade between the two countries.
Japan has become the potential trading partner of Bangladesh and a special economic zone was inaugurated for the country at Araihazar in Narayangnaj on December 6 where some $1.5 billion will be invested.
According to the official data, Bangladesh exports to Japan in the financial year 2021-22 amounted $1.35 billion while imports $2.41 billion.