The first Bangladesh-Japan Public-Private Economic Dialogue was held in Dhaka today, convened by the Government of Bangladesh. The members participating on both sides recalled that launching of the Dialogue was facilitated through adoption of the ‘Japan-Bangladesh Comprehensive Partnership’ during the visit of Bangladesh Prime Minister to Japan in May this year.
The discussions were held in an atmosphere of cordiality, friendship and cooperation. Both sides reflected on deepening economic and commercial cooperation and overall economic scenario prevailing in the respective countries during discussions. They concluded that engagements between the two countries should be based and advanced on the basis of mutual trust, respect and interest and equitable sharing of benefits.
During discussions, both sides had exchange of views on wide-ranging areas of mutual economic interest, including prevailing investment climate and regime, development of infrastructure and industrial base including development of Special Economic Zones, further improvement of regulatory and administrative arrangements to facilitate movement of investment, issues related to augmenting bilateral trade. The governments and private sector of the two countries noted a number of ways and areas to tap mutually beneficial opportunities for private investments in Bangladesh. In that context, they recognized areas like textiles, leather, pharmaceuticals, IT and ITES, tourism and hospitality, health etc as possible sectors where both countries can enter into cooperative undertakings in the future.
They expressed optimism that the Dialogue could provide a window for interaction and actions between the governmental actors and private sector of the two countries on many areas that are not yet explored. They therefore maintained that the Dialogue could contribute to charting avenues for robust engagement between the two countries.
While welcoming the convening of the first Public-Private Economic Dialogue, the Japanese side stressed on the importance of developing the Special Economic Zones and adjoining infrastructures in Bangladesh to attract greater quantum of investments from Japan; and urged Bangladesh to address some of operational issues flagged by the Japanese investors, including simplification of various procedures related to certification, licensing approval process, issuance of visa, work permit etc. They also discussed about various incentives with a view to improving overall investment climate and to enhance trade relations between the two countries.
During discussion, the leaders and representatives of business community of the two countries present at the Dialogue, also shared their respective perspectives.
Prior to the Dialogue, a delegation led by Norihiko Ishiguro, Vice-Minister for International Affairs, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of the Government of Japan paid courtesy calls on Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Commerce Minister Tofael Ahmed respectively.
The second Joint Bangladesh-Japan Public-Private Economic Dialogue will be convened by Japan next year.
The Japanese Delegation, consisting of 38 members, was led by Norihiko Ishiguro, whereas the Bangladeshi Delegation, comprising of 32 members, was led by Abul Kalam Azad, Senior Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office.