The government and business leaders are hopeful about the rise of Japanese investment in the country in the coming days.
Back from a meeting with Japanese investors in Singapore on 8 August, a high-profile delegation comprising government and private company officials expressed this confidence at a press conference at a hotel in Dhaka organised by Bangladesh Investment Development Authorities (BIDA).
The delegation had met 38 Japanese companies during the meeting arranged by the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO).
The businessmen said the Japanese investors proposed some reforms in the business sector during the meeting. The government must response to this, they added.
On the other hand, the government representatives of the team said Bangladesh can offer much to encourage Japanese investors.
Chief coordinator of the MDG-related issues of the government Abul Kalam said, “We went there with no specific investment proposals, but informed them prospectus of investment in Bangladesh.”
BIDA’s executive chairman Md Aminul Islam said, “It’s known to all that Japan has the ability to give Bangladesh many things. This time, we told them what Bangladeshis have to offer.”
The representative team also met Singapore investors and talked with them about One Stop Service and skill development issues.
A university in Singapore can assist skill development issues and an MoU could be signed to develop business environment in the county, said BIDA’s executive chairman.
At the briefing, commerce secretary Subhashish Basu said, “I’ve talked with some Japanese investors after the meeting. I felt they are interested to invest in Bangladesh.”
Dhaka Chamber’s president Abul Kashem Khan said Japan had invested $20 billion in ASEAN countries like Thailand, Vietnam and Philippines.
According to DBS Bank in Singapore, he added, 56 per cent Japanese firms are anxious about increasing salaries in the countries.
“If we can draw 10 per cent of the investment to our country, it will stand at $2 billion,” the chamber president added.
Syed Nasim Manzur shared that Bangladesh has been placed among top 20 countries where Japanese investors like to invest.
At the press conference, Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s former president Syed Nasim Manzur said, “After the Holey Artisan café massacre, the meeting at Singapore was very effective in growing the confidence of the Japanese investors.”
He also called on the authorities concerned to reform according to the Japan businessmen’s demand.
Chittagong Chamber’s Commerce president Mahbubul Alam was also present at the briefing.
A total of 55 business personalities and concerned government officials authorities also attended the briefing.