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BEZA, TOA ink deal for BSEZ development

This is the first G2G economic zone, and will be built on 1000 acres of lands at Araihazar of Narayanganj

To develop Bangladesh Special Economic Zone (BSEZ), an agreement signing ceremony was held between the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) and TOA Corporation of Japan, at a hotel in the capital today 

This is the first G2G economic zone that will be built on 1000 acres of lands at Araihazar in Narayanganj.

Under the agreement, TOA is responsible for developing the land, building boundary, making a connecting road, water reservoir, and power plant.  

The project aims to create a conducive environment for various industries for a sustainable development. Besides, the zone also will attract Japanese investment in the country and create more employment opportunities. It may also contribute to reduce poverty in the country and improve living standard of the people. 

Beza expects that it can bring Japanese investment equivalent 20 billion once the project starts operation, and most of the investment will be from reputed Japanese brands. Besides, recycling plants will also be there to check the industrial wastes.

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BSEZ may bring in foreign investment of US$20b

IDJEZP, TOA Corporation signs contract to develop SEZ in N'ganj
 FE Report | Published:  January 28, 2020 11:38:43 | Updated:  January 28, 2020 13:56:52

Picture used for illustrative purpose only — Collected
Bangladesh Special Economic Zone (BSEZ), dedicated for Japanese investors, is expected to bring in foreign investment worth US$20 billion.

The Special Economic Zone (SEZ) being developed on 1,000 acres of land in Araihazar upazila of Narayanganj will be operational by 2022.

This was revealed at a contract signing ceremony between Infrastructure Development of Japanese Economic Zone Project (IDJEZP) and TOA Corporation held at a city hotel on Monday evening.

IDJEZP project director Saleh Ahmad and Executive Officer of TOA Corporation's International Division Masaki Uematsu singed the contract on behalf of their respective organisations.

The IDJEZP is a joint venture between the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) and Japanese Sumitomo Corporation.

Under the contract, Japanese firm TOA Corporation will develop the EZ exclusively for the Japanese investors.

Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Dr. Ahmad Kaikaus attended the ceremony as the chief guest while BEZA Executive Chairman Paban Chowdhury presided over the ceremony.

Minister to the Embassy of Japan in Bangladesh Hiroyuki Yamaya, Chief Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Bangladesh office Hirata Hitoshi, and Chief Representative of Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Dhaka Yuji Ando also spoke on the occasion.

This is the first EZ being established on a government-to- government (G2G) basis.

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BSEZ may bring in foreign investment of US$20b

IDJEZP, TOA Corporation signs contract to develop SEZ in N'ganj
 FE Report | Published:  January 28, 2020 11:38:43 | Updated:  January 28, 2020 13:56:52

Bangladesh Special Economic Zone (BSEZ), dedicated for Japanese investors, is expected to bring in foreign investment worth US$20 billion.

The Special Economic Zone (SEZ) being developed on 1,000 acres of land in Araihazar upazila of Narayanganj will be operational by 2022.

This was revealed at a contract signing ceremony between Infrastructure Development of Japanese Economic Zone Project (IDJEZP) and TOA Corporation held at a city hotel on Monday evening.

IDJEZP project director Saleh Ahmad and Executive Officer of TOA Corporation's International Division Masaki Uematsu singed the contract on behalf of their respective organisations.

The IDJEZP is a joint venture between the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) and Japanese Sumitomo Corporation.

Under the contract, Japanese firm TOA Corporation will develop the EZ exclusively for the Japanese investors.

Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Dr. Ahmad Kaikaus attended the ceremony as the chief guest while BEZA Executive Chairman Paban Chowdhury presided over the ceremony.

Minister to the Embassy of Japan in Bangladesh Hiroyuki Yamaya, Chief Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Bangladesh office Hirata Hitoshi, and Chief Representative of Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Dhaka Yuji Ando also spoke on the occasion.

This is the first EZ being established on a government-to- government (G2G) basis.

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12:00 AM, February 25, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:57 AM, February 25, 2020

Japanese firms to invest $6.4b

Six infra projects will be implemented under the PPP model

Rejaul Karim Byron

japan_bangladesh.jpg?itok=v9yTr83O

Major Japanese large firms are to invest about $6.4 billion to implement six infrastructure projects in Bangladesh under the public-private partnership model.

The implementation timeline for the projects to be implemented by groups such as Kajima, Sojitz and Marubeni will be set at the fourth Bangladesh-Japan Joint PPP Platform meeting in Dhaka next month.

The feasibility study, the construction period and other issues will also be fixed at the meeting, said officials of the Prime Minister's Office and the planning ministry.

The government had submitted a list of 18 projects to the Japanese government in December 2017. But Shinzo Abe's administration picked the six projects from the list that it deemed suitable for investment through Japanese private investors.

The ministry of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism (MLIT) of Japan has selected a consortium of private investors for each project to be led by a major company. The consortium is known as the sub working group (SWG).

The Japanese companies, which have set up their offices in Dhaka to start the construction of the projects, will invest under the government-to-government system without participating in any bidding.

At the meeting, Dhaka will seek investment for four more projects, which include the Bhola-Barishal bridge and the deep water container terminal at the Payra port.

SECOND METRO RAIL

The proposed route of the MRT Line-2 is Gabtoli-Mohammadpur-Jigatola-Science Lab-New Market-Azimpur-Palashi-Shaheed Minar-Police Headquarters-Motijheel-Kamalapur-Demra-Chattogram Road covering around 40 kilometres.

The cabinet committee on economic affairs has already approved the project.

The metro rail is expected to go on commercial operation in 2030.

"Japan SWG will make best efforts to secure MLIT's fund from next fiscal year's budget starting from April 2020 for the basic study of the project," said an official of the PMO.

The lead company of the project is Marubeni Corporation. The other participating companies are: Oriental Consultants Global, Katahira & Engineers International, Sojitz and Sumitomo Mitsui Construction Corporation.

OUTER RING ROAD

The approximate length of the proposed revised alignment is 130km, of which 46km is new alignment and 84km will follow existing alignment that needs to be improved.

The lead company is Marubeni Corporation. Other participating companies include IHI Corporation, Obayashi Corporation, Shimizu Corporation and Taisei Corporation.

The route of the Outer Ring Road will be Hemayetpur-Kalakandi-3rd Shitalakhya Bridge-Madanpur-Bhulta-Gazipur-Bypail-Hemayetpur.

MULTIMODAL HUBS

Two multimodal hubs will be built at Kamalapur Railway Station and Dhaka Biman Bandar Railway Station each. The hubs will have road and rail connectivity as well as flyovers for facilitating easy movement of commuters.

The lead company of Kamalapur hub project is Kajima, while Sojitz will lead the group of companies that will implement the hub at the airport railway station. 

DEPOT NEAR DHIRASRAM

The government has decided to establish a full-fledged inland container depot near Dhirasram Railway station attached to the Dhaka eastern by-pass road with constant access to container handling and transportation.

This will ease the pressure on the Kamalapur ICD.

The capacity of Kamalapur ICD is not adequate to serve the increasing share of container handling diverted towards Bangladesh Railway, according to the PPP Office under the PMO.

Further expansion of Kamalapur ICD is difficult due to heavy built up of the surrounding area. Apart from capacity constraints, daytime prohibition on movement of commercial vehicles is also very difficult in Kamalapur ICD, according to the PPP Office.

The handling capacity of the proposed ICD is 354,000 twenty-foot equivalent units. The lead company is Sojitz.

CTG-COX'S BAZAR HIGHWAY

The two-lane highway will be turned into a four-lane one under the project. The lead group is Marubeni. 

 

https://www.thedailystar.net/business/news/japanese-firms-invest-64b-1872655

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2 hours ago, Rezwan12 said:

CTG-COX'S BAZAR HIGHWAY

The two-lane highway will be turned into a four-lane one under the project. The lead group is Marubeni.

If this project is done under PPP then the highway is supposed to be a toll road. That would increase the fare and impose a burden on the travelers. I think the regular highways should be toll-free and separate expressways can be constructed with which should be access-controlled.

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‘Japan Street’ inaugurated in Bashundhara

Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Naoki Ito inaugurated the street named in honour of Japanese investors  

The authorities of Bashundhara residential area have named one of their streets as "Japan Street" to honour the Japanese investors in Bangladesh. 

Japanese ambassador to Bangladesh Naoki Ito inaugurated the street amid on Tuesday. The inauguration ceremony was organised by JCX Developments Ltd. 

Ahmed Akbar Sobhan, the chairman of Bashundhara Group and JDL Managing Director Md Iqbal Hossain Chowdhury, among others, were present at the event. 

Expressing his joy over the naming of the street, the Japanese ambassador said, "This is the first time that a street has been named after Japan, though the country has been a development partner of Bangladesh for a long time. I am very delighted."

And it will increase Japanese investment in newer sectors including real estate, he added. 

Thanking the authorities for naming the street, Naoki Ito also said Japan is a tested friend and a big partner of economic development of Bangladesh. 

In Bangladesh, 309 Japanese companies have invested so far and are implementing some of the megaprojects, Ambassador Ito added. 

Ahmed Akbar Sobhan said Japan is "our old friend" and "we are delighted" to name the street after Japan. 

"The present government is business-friendly. We are happy that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has created an option of a 20-year-long loan facility with 5 percent interest rate, creating a window of investment in the real estate sector," Akbar Sobhan said. 

Md Iqbal Hossain Chowdhury said he has built the JCX business tower in partnership with Japan.

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Japanese firms to invest $6.4b

Six infra projects will be implemented under the PPP model

japan_bangladesh.jpg?itok=v9yTr83O

Rejaul Karim Byron
Major Japanese large firms are to invest about $6.4 billion to implement six infrastructure projects in Bangladesh under the public-private partnership model.

The implementation timeline for the projects to be implemented by groups such as Kajima, Sojitz and Marubeni will be set at the fourth Bangladesh-Japan Joint PPP Platform meeting in Dhaka next month.

The feasibility study, the construction period and other issues will also be fixed at the meeting, said officials of the Prime Minister's Office and the planning ministry.

The government had submitted a list of 18 projects to the Japanese government in December 2017. But Shinzo Abe's administration picked the six projects from the list that it deemed suitable for investment through Japanese private investors.

The ministry of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism (MLIT) of Japan has selected a consortium of private investors for each project to be led by a major company. The consortium is known as the sub working group (SWG).

The Japanese companies, which have set up their offices in Dhaka to start the construction of the projects, will invest under the government-to-government system without participating in any bidding.

At the meeting, Dhaka will seek investment for four more projects, which include the Bhola-Barishal bridge and the deep water container terminal at the Payra port.

SECOND METRO RAIL

The proposed route of the MRT Line-2 is Gabtoli-Mohammadpur-Jigatola-Science Lab-New Market-Azimpur-Palashi-Shaheed Minar-Police Headquarters-Motijheel-Kamalapur-Demra-Chattogram Road covering around 40 kilometres.

The cabinet committee on economic affairs has already approved the project.

The metro rail is expected to go on commercial operation in 2030.

"Japan SWG will make best efforts to secure MLIT's fund from next fiscal year's budget starting from April 2020 for the basic study of the project," said an official of the PMO.

The lead company of the project is Marubeni Corporation. The other participating companies are: Oriental Consultants Global, Katahira & Engineers International, Sojitz and Sumitomo Mitsui Construction Corporation.

OUTER RING ROAD

The approximate length of the proposed revised alignment is 130km, of which 46km is new alignment and 84km will follow existing alignment that needs to be improved.

The lead company is Marubeni Corporation. Other participating companies include IHI Corporation, Obayashi Corporation, Shimizu Corporation and Taisei Corporation.

The route of the Outer Ring Road will be Hemayetpur-Kalakandi-3rd Shitalakhya Bridge-Madanpur-Bhulta-Gazipur-Bypail-Hemayetpur.

MULTIMODAL HUBS

Two multimodal hubs will be built at Kamalapur Railway Station and Dhaka Biman Bandar Railway Station each. The hubs will have road and rail connectivity as well as flyovers for facilitating easy movement of commuters.

The lead company of Kamalapur hub project is Kajima, while Sojitz will lead the group of companies that will implement the hub at the airport railway station. 

DEPOT NEAR DHIRASRAM

The government has decided to establish a full-fledged inland container depot near Dhirasram Railway station attached to the Dhaka eastern by-pass road with constant access to container handling and transportation.

This will ease the pressure on the Kamalapur ICD.

The capacity of Kamalapur ICD is not adequate to serve the increasing share of container handling diverted towards Bangladesh Railway, according to the PPP Office under the PMO.

Further expansion of Kamalapur ICD is difficult due to heavy built up of the surrounding area. Apart from capacity constraints, daytime prohibition on movement of commercial vehicles is also very difficult in Kamalapur ICD, according to the PPP Office.

The handling capacity of the proposed ICD is 354,000 twenty-foot equivalent units. The lead company is Sojitz.

CTG-COX'S BAZAR HIGHWAY

The two-lane highway will be turned into a four-lane one under the project. The lead group is Marubeni. 

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12:00 AM, March 08, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:44 AM, March 08, 2020

Bangladesh: a fertile plain for Japanese investment

Says Jica country chief Hitoshi Hirata

Jagaran Chakma

Bangladesh's per capita income will cross $4,000 within next decade and this will act as a springboard for the country looking to become a high-income economy, according to Hitoshi Hirata, chief representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica).

In 2019, Bangladesh recorded an 8.15 per cent growth in GDP while per capita income reached $1,906 as per data from the International Monetary Fund.

"This is a very rapid growth. If a country achieves an average of more than 7 per cent growth per year, per capita income can be doubled within 10 years. So, it should be very easy for Bangladesh to double its per capita income within 10 years," said Hirata during an interview with The Daily Star on Thursday.

Since 2018, Japanese firms began to show interest to invest in Bangladesh and Hirata hopes this trend will continue through the country's partnership with the Jica.

"We are very pleased to be a partner that provides support for the development of infrastructure in Bangladesh as it will directly help the country attract more Japanese investors," he said.

The Matarbari deep seaport in Cox's Bazar, which is being built with financial backing from the Jica, is a good example of how the agency assists in developing the country.

The proposed deep seaport will be accessible for container ships that require more than 18 metres of depth and considering that Chattogram Port, the premier port of Bangladesh, is only accessible by vessels requiring less than 9 metres of depth. Logistic costs should diminish greatly once the project is complete in 2024.

The Jica is also involved in the construction of the third terminal at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) in Dhaka, which is expected to be complete within 2023.

"These two infrastructure projects will become logistic hubs in the country by 2041 and about 40 per cent of all container ships anchored in the country will be handled at the Matarbari Port," Hirata said.

The HSIA will have the capacity to accommodate an additional two crore passengers following the construction of the terminal, for which the Jica is providing 70 per cent of the funding.

Currently, the airport can handle eight million passengers a year but that number is expected to reach 14 million by 2025 and 24.8 million by 2035.

Besides, 42 per cent of Bangladesh's LNG supply will come through the Matarbari channel by 2041 while power plants in the area will account for 40 per cent of the country's energy production.

Therefore, both projects play vital roles in the implementation of the BIG-B concept, which was announced during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Bangladesh in 2014.

"Since the plan was declared, our lending commitment to Bangladesh sped up and reached over $2.5 billion per year while it was only $1 billion in 2014," he added.

The Bay of Bengal Industrial Growth Belt initiative, simply known as BIG-B, aims to accelerate industrial agglomeration along the Dhaka-Chattogram-Cox's Bazar belt and beyond, encompassing developing economic infrastructure, improving investment environment and fostering connectivity.

Currently, there are more than 40 projects in implementation, of which 31 are being developed to improve infrastructure. This includes a few large-scale schemes for both hard and soft infrastructure.

Over the past five years, Japan has more than doubled its support for infrastructure development in Bangladesh and will continue to do so due to good bilateral relations, said Hirata.

Bangladesh has improved immensely in areas such as power generation, transport and port facilities in the last 10 years and this led to greater foreign investment in the country.

"Therefore, both Bangladesh and Japan will benefit from the projects currently in implementation as it will attract more foreign investors, including Japanese ones, for various sectors," the Jica chief representative to Bangladesh said.

Movement from Dhaka to Chattogram has now become far smoother thanks to the JICA's support in the construction of three bridges: Kanchpur, Meghna and Goumti.

"We tried to improve the infrastructure level between Dhaka, Chattogram and Cox' Bazar under the Big-B initiative to help attract foreign direct investment, not only from Japan but from other countries also," he said.

Bangladesh is very promising for Japanese investors due to the rapid economic growth shown by the country for the past few years. Besides, there is also a massive consumer market.

The purchasing capacity of Bangladesh's middle class is on the rise and the people are very comfortable with Japanese products, according to Hirata.

"If you consider the history of Japanese investment abroad, you will notice that the island nation first invested in ASEAN countries such as Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia before going on to Singapore."

"Upon closer inspection, you will see that Japanese firms began investing in these countries in greater numbers once the infrastructure of those countries was developed."

"Now the next destination is definitely Bangladesh as infrastructure improvement is going on," Hirata said.

The number of Japanese firms operating in the country will also increase after the completion of the Japanese special economic zone in 2021.

After that, automobile, food processing, and leading manufacturing companies will come to Bangladesh and help diversify the economy, he said.

However, the ease of doing business in the country needs to be improved if Bangladesh hopes to compete with neighboring countries like Myanmar, Thailand and Indonesia, he added.

Bangladesh's taxation system, customs duty, enforceable policies and value added tax system are some of the major challenges faced by Japanese firms looking to invest in the economy.

Investors make their decisions based on government policies. Therefore, if any government frequently changes policies on an ad-hoc basis, investor confidence is lost.

"Investors need policy support, and incentives to invest in any economy," said Hirata, adding that countries like Myanmar and India constantly improve their policies and incentive plans to attract FDIs.

Hirata also lauded the government's long-term plans while insisting that Bangladesh can become a developed country by 2041 if the economy continues to grow.

The government will need to provide quality education at primary and secondary schools since highly skilled individuals are required to achieve the country's goals, he added.

Bangladesh will be a top choice for Japanese companies seeking to expand their businesses in Asia and the Oceania in the next two years due to its high potential and profitability, according to a survey of the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO).

About 70.3 per cent of all Japanese firms in Bangladesh are mulling over an expansion while 23.4 per cent would like to remain the same and 1.6 per cent are considering a reduction.

As of December 2019, around 300 Japanese companies were conducting business in Bangladesh with investments reaching $386 million. Just a decade ago, there were merely 82 firms from Japan operating in the country.

In another project, the Jica will assist in the construction of a new dedicated railway bridge over the Jamuna river to improve the capacity and safety of rail transportation, said Hirata.

The agency also encourages the development of prototype motorcycle parts through technical support to local metal and plastic part manufacturers.

Besides, the Jica helped draw up the revised strategic transport plan, which outlined short-term (2025), and mid to long-term (2035) transport plans for Dhaka. The plans were approved in 2016.

The ongoing construction of metro rail and bus rapid transport projects will help solve the city's traffic congestion and could save over 35 million man-hours per day, according to Hirata. 

 

https://www.thedailystar.net/business/news/bangladesh-fertile-plain-japanese-investment-1877923

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Why is there another thread on same topic? 🤨 

Japanese firms mull ‘shifting’ production from China to Bangladesh

Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha . Dhaka | Published: 22:01, Mar 07,2020

https://www.newagebd.net/article/10...-shifting-production-from-china-to-bangladesh

The Japan Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Saturday observed that some Japanese companies were considering shifting of production from China to other countries, including Bangladesh.

The joint-chamber made the observation at the 10th Networking Gathering of JBCCI, hosted by Conveyor Logistics Limited, at Lakeshore Hotel in the capital, said a press release.

Japanese ambassador to Bangladesh Naoki Ito attended the programme as the chief guest while JBCCI president Yuji Ando spoke on the occasion. Ito said that Japanese companies were showing interest in investing in Bangladesh to expand their businesses.

‘Currently, 310 Japanese companies are operating in Bangladesh. The number will increase if the issues with bureaucracy and taxation policies become smoother and government officials become more cooperative towards foreign investors,’ he added.

He believed that the years 2020-2024 were very important for Bangladesh as mega projects, like Metro Rail, Padma Bridge and Matarbari deep-sea port, will be completed during the time.

Ando said that some Japanese companies were considering shifting of production from China to other countries, including Bangladesh.

‘Logistics is one of the most important issues. That’s because the supply chain is based on good logistic networks. Coronavirus is the biggest concern in the world now and it is having huge impact on the global supply chain. We can understand that transportation and logistics are the key factors for realising international businesses,’ he said.

He said that Bangladesh had to prepare for improving the logistic environment, rules and regulations for the next five years.

‘In this regard, we need the support from all members to urge the government to remove the bottlenecks in the logistic sector,’ he added.

JBCCI treasurer Hideaki and secretary general Tareq Rafi Bhuiyan were present, among others, on the occasion.

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Bangladesh: a fertile plain for Japanese investment

hitoshi_hirata.jpg?itok=xUOvujvv

Bangladesh's per capita income will cross $4,000 within next decade and this will act as a springboard for the country looking to become a high-income economy, according to Hitoshi Hirata, chief representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica).

In 2019, Bangladesh recorded an 8.15 per cent growth in GDP while per capita income reached $1,906 as per data from the International Monetary Fund.

"This is a very rapid growth. If a country achieves an average of more than 7 per cent growth per year, per capita income can be doubled within 10 years. So, it should be very easy for Bangladesh to double its per capita income within 10 years," said Hirata during an interview with The Daily Star on Thursday.

Since 2018, Japanese firms began to show interest to invest in Bangladesh and Hirata hopes this trend will continue through the country's partnership with the Jica.

"We are very pleased to be a partner that provides support for the development of infrastructure in Bangladesh as it will directly help the country attract more Japanese investors," he said.

The Matarbari deep seaport in Cox's Bazar, which is being built with financial backing from the Jica, is a good example of how the agency assists in developing the country.

The proposed deep seaport will be accessible for container ships that require more than 18 metres of depth and considering that Chattogram Port, the premier port of Bangladesh, is only accessible by vessels requiring less than 9 metres of depth. Logistic costs should diminish greatly once the project is complete in 2024.

The Jica is also involved in the construction of the third terminal at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) in Dhaka, which is expected to be complete within 2023.

"These two infrastructure projects will become logistic hubs in the country by 2041 and about 40 per cent of all container ships anchored in the country will be handled at the Matarbari Port," Hirata said.

The HSIA will have the capacity to accommodate an additional two crore passengers following the construction of the terminal, for which the Jica is providing 70 per cent of the funding.

Currently, the airport can handle eight million passengers a year but that number is expected to reach 14 million by 2025 and 24.8 million by 2035.

Besides, 42 per cent of Bangladesh's LNG supply will come through the Matarbari channel by 2041 while power plants in the area will account for 40 per cent of the country's energy production.

Therefore, both projects play vital roles in the implementation of the BIG-B concept, which was announced during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Bangladesh in 2014.

"Since the plan was declared, our lending commitment to Bangladesh sped up and reached over $2.5 billion per year while it was only $1 billion in 2014," he added.

The Bay of Bengal Industrial Growth Belt initiative, simply known as BIG-B, aims to accelerate industrial agglomeration along the Dhaka-Chattogram-Cox's Bazar belt and beyond, encompassing developing economic infrastructure, improving investment environment and fostering connectivity.

Currently, there are more than 40 projects in implementation, of which 31 are being developed to improve infrastructure. This includes a few large-scale schemes for both hard and soft infrastructure.

Over the past five years, Japan has more than doubled its support for infrastructure development in Bangladesh and will continue to do so due to good bilateral relations, said Hirata.

Bangladesh has improved immensely in areas such as power generation, transport and port facilities in the last 10 years and this led to greater foreign investment in the country.

"Therefore, both Bangladesh and Japan will benefit from the projects currently in implementation as it will attract more foreign investors, including Japanese ones, for various sectors," the Jica chief representative to Bangladesh said.

Movement from Dhaka to Chattogram has now become far smoother thanks to the JICA's support in the construction of three bridges: Kanchpur, Meghna and Goumti.

"We tried to improve the infrastructure level between Dhaka, Chattogram and Cox' Bazar under the Big-B initiative to help attract foreign direct investment, not only from Japan but from other countries also," he said.

Bangladesh is very promising for Japanese investors due to the rapid economic growth shown by the country for the past few years. Besides, there is also a massive consumer market.

The purchasing capacity of Bangladesh's middle class is on the rise and the people are very comfortable with Japanese products, according to Hirata.

"If you consider the history of Japanese investment abroad, you will notice that the island nation first invested in ASEAN countries such as Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia before going on to Singapore."

"Upon closer inspection, you will see that Japanese firms began investing in these countries in greater numbers once the infrastructure of those countries was developed."

"Now the next destination is definitely Bangladesh as infrastructure improvement is going on," Hirata said.

The number of Japanese firms operating in the country will also increase after the completion of the Japanese special economic zone in 2021.

After that, automobile, food processing, and leading manufacturing companies will come to Bangladesh and help diversify the economy, he said.

However, the ease of doing business in the country needs to be improved if Bangladesh hopes to compete with neighbouring countries like Myanmar, Thailand and Indonesia, he added.

Bangladesh's taxation system, customs duty, enforceable policies and value added tax system are some of the major challenges faced by Japanese firms looking to invest in the economy.

Investors make their decisions based on government policies. Therefore, if any government frequently changes policies on an ad-hoc basis, investor confidence is lost.

"Investors need policy support, and incentives to invest in any economy," said Hirata, adding that countries like Myanmar and India constantly improve their policies and incentive plans to attract FDIs.

Hirata also lauded the government's long-term plans while insisting that Bangladesh can become a developed country by 2041 if the economy continues to grow.

The government will need to provide quality education at primary and secondary schools since highly skilled individuals are required to achieve the country's goals, he added.

Bangladesh will be a top choice for Japanese companies seeking to expand their businesses in Asia and the Oceania in the next two years due to its high potential and profitability, according to a survey of the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO).

About 70.3 per cent of all Japanese firms in Bangladesh are mulling over an expansion while 23.4 per cent would like to remain the same and 1.6 per cent are considering a reduction.

As of December 2019, around 300 Japanese companies were conducting business in Bangladesh with investments reaching $386 million. Just a decade ago, there were merely 82 firms from Japan operating in the country.

In another project, the Jica will assist in the construction of a new dedicated railway bridge over the Jamuna river to improve the capacity and safety of rail transportation, said Hirata.

The agency also encourages the development of prototype motorcycle parts through technical support to local metal and plastic part manufacturers.

Besides, the Jica helped draw up the revised strategic transport plan, which outlined short-term (2025), and mid to long-term (2035) transport plans for Dhaka. The plans were approved in 2016.

The ongoing construction of metro rail and bus rapid transport projects will help solve the city's traffic congestion and could save over 35 million man-hours per day, according to Hirata. 

 

https://www.thedailystar.net/business/news/bangladesh-fertile-plain-japanese-investment-1877923

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The Initiative of BIG-B (The Bay of Bengal Industrial Growth Belt)
 

What is "BIG-B"?

Bangladesh is located with embracing the Bay of Bengal from the sea point of view, and in-between South Asia and South-East Asia from the land point. Under the current global economic power shift toward the Indo-Pacific Ocean region, this geographical advantage will provide a unique opportunity for the country to play a node and hub role in regional as well as inter-regional matters. This also suggests the Bangladesh's renewed focus on "Look East" policy to exploit the vibrant economic growth from Pacific to Indian Ocean.

The BIG-B initiative is to accelerate industrial agglomeration along the Dhaka-Chittagong-Cox's Bazar belt area and beyond, encompassing developing economic infrastructure, improving investment environment and fostering connectivity. The two Prime Ministers also expected the initiative, with maximum use of Japan's advanced technologies and socioeconomic development experiences, to yield mutual benefits and prosperity to both countries.

BIG-B foresees Bangladesh transcending its national borders to become a heart of the regional economy and providing a gateway for both South Asia and South-East Asia to step into a closer inter-regional relation, so that she may reshape herself as a sparkling trading nation deeply incorporated into inter-regional and global value chains.

BIG-B is not incompatible with other existing vital frameworks for the regional cooperation. Rather, it aims to supplement and reinforce them for the maximization of the benefit for Bangladesh.

141105_01.jpg

 

Bangladesh has remarkably achieved the average of 6% growth in the last decade amid the downturn of the global economy, and is now ready to leap onto the higher growth path to become a middle income country by 2021. At this critical juncture, upon the Government of Japan's extraordinary commitment for the bilateral relationship, JICA will keep on providing the full-fledged sincere cooperation for Bangladesh in strategic project formulation and smooth implementation to realize the BIG-B initiative for the inclusive and dynamic development of the country for_ decades to come.

For more details on BIG-B, please have a look at the speech of Dr. Akihiko Tanaka, JICA President, titled "BIG-B toward Growth beyond Borders" at the University of Dhaka on June 16, 2014.

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12:00 AM, October 08, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 05:40 AM, October 08, 2020

Japan to invest in a bigger way, but wants better climate

Says top official of Jetro

Star Business Desk

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Every year 50 Japanese companies will come to Bangladesh to do business if the country improves its investment climate and develop infrastructure further, said Yuji Ando, country representative of Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro).

Some 310 Japanese companies have presence in Bangladesh and they have invested around $3 billion here, he said yesterday.

"Around 70 per cent of the Japanese companies are interested to increase their investment in Bangladesh. They now want an environment, which is friendlier towards Japanese companies."

The lack of infrastructure is one of the bottlenecks, which is reducing Bangladesh's possibility of getting a smooth flow of Japanese investment, said Ando, also the president of Japan-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

"It should be a win-win situation for both the countries."

He spoke while exchanging views with the executive committee members of the Economic Reporters Forum (ERF) at the ERF office in Dhaka.

He also expressed his willingness to work in collaboration with the ERF and other stakeholders to help the government improve the climate for investors.

The number of Japanese factories to relocate from China will not be as many as has been predicted, he said.

Keeping the Japanese factories in China, new production units will be established in other countries and the member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will get priority in case of factory relocation, he said.

ERF President Saiful Islam Dilal, General Secretary SM Rashidul Islam, AFP Bureau Chief M Shafiqul Alam and former Reuters Bureau Chief Serajul Islam Quadir also spoke among others. 

 

https://www.thedailystar.net/business/news/japan-invest-bigger-way-wants-better-climate-1974305

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