On 29 May, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina met with the top CEOs of 25 Japanese companies in the Bangladesh-Japan Business Forum roundtable at Hotel New Otani in Tokyo, Japan where Ministers, MPs, business delegates also attended.
The Prime Minister said that the McKinsey & Company has dubbed Bangladesh as one of the fastest growing sourcing destinations, emerging manufacturing and distribution hubs, and an expanding consumption economy.
On the other hand, Japan’s external trade organization JETRO in a recent survey ranked Bangladesh as the highest in terms of future expansions among Japanese companies in the region.
In this regard, the Prime Minister welcomed investment from Japan. “I invite you to explore the full potential of business and trade relations with Bangladesh.”
“Given the excellent bilateral relations and understanding that exist between our two leaderships, and the tremendous goodwill that prevails between our peoples, let us lift the business relations to a higher level,” she said
The government is establishing 100 Special Economic Zones throughout the country, including one exclusively for Japanese investors at Araihazar, she stressed.
“75% of our export to Japan consists of garments. First three months of export to Japan between Jan-Mar 2019 has been $325 million. This indicates that the potential to export this year will be around $1.3 billion for RMG.”
Attending the meeting BGMEA President Rubana Huq said, “BGMEA has already requested for a separate sectoral meeting to Ambassador Rabab Fatima within the next three months so that the export potential of Bangladesh to Japan is optimized.”
“75% of our export to Japan consists of garments. First three months of export to Japan between Jan-Mar 2019 has been $325 million. This indicates that the potential to export this year will be around $1.3 billion for RMG,” she added.
Describing Myanmar as Bangladesh’s strong competitor to Japan she said, “Their export is higher along with higher value addition.”
“7% of our apparel export consists of around 4% of import value. Thus, there is a great potential to grow RMG export to Japan,” she expressed hope.
At least nine Japanese businessmen and investors spoke on the occasion including Japan Bangladesh Committee for Commercial and Cooperation Chairman Terao Asada, JICA executive vice president, JETRO president, Sumihito Corporation president and CEO, executive vice president of Mitsui and Co Limited, senior managing executive officer of Sojits Corporation, vice president of Mitsubishi Motors, managing officer of Honda Motors and president of Maruhisa Corporation.
FBCCI President Sheikh Fazle Fahim and MCCI President Nihad Kabir spoke among the Bangladeshi business leaders.