Amabassador Naoki Ito says 50% of Japanese companies are going to invest in the ASEAN countries
Mentioning Bangladesh as very attractive for foreign investors, the Ambassador of Japan in Bangladesh Naoki Ito said on Saturday that big Japanese companies are very keen to further invest in the country’s special economic zones.
“The location of Bangladesh is very important — strategically and economically. Around 300 Japanese companies are operating in Bangladesh. Many Japanese big companies, including Mitsubishi, will invest more in Bangladesh’s economic zones in Araihazar, Mirsarai and Matarbari,” Ambassador Ito said while addressing a webinar.
The virtual discussion was jointly organized by the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) and Better Bangladesh Foundation (BBF).
BBF Chairman Professor Masud A Khan moderated the webinar.
Naoki Ito said 50% of Japanese companies are going to invest in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries.
Although the coronavirus has created a vulnerability in supply chains, it is time to invest in Bangladesh, he added.
“Bangladesh is a potential country for investment. So, infrastructure development is very important. The Japanese government has been supporting Bangladesh for long in this regard,” he further said.
Naoki added that Bangladesh can catch new markets in Asian countries including Japan and Korea with its diversified RMG products.
Speaking at the webinar, Planning Minister MA Mannan said the government has been working hard for providing a better living to its people.
“Our economy is in a win-win situation. We have created places for smooth investment for investors. BIDA has opened one-stop services to make services easy for all,” he added.
Former governor of Bangladesh Bank Dr Atiur Rahman positioned Bangladesh as a very good destination for investors.
"The country has been able to develop in all sectors. There is no power cut now," he added.
“The major projects including Padma Bridge, Metro rail and Matarbari are game changers for the country. We need to skill up our youths. The country is an attractive destination for all investors,” he also said.
BIDA Executive Chairman Sirazul Islam said they are trying to facilitate investment process for local and international investment.
“We are running one-stop services to make hassle-free activities. I believe that it will improve our ease of doing business rank. Our rank is 168 now, that is not good. We have recently reformed many things. I hope this position will improve much more in the upcoming ranking,” he added.
Sirazul also said they arrange all things for foreign investors such as receiving in airport, transportation and hotel services.
Nicole Mao, a foreign investor in Bangladesh, said: “With the experience, I am so excited about the services offered by BIDA, and 100% confident about the Bangladeshi economy.
“Now, I am managing foreign investment here in Dhaka. I am willing to contribute what I have learnt from Harvard and China’s economic growth to Bangladesh. Indeed, I am willing to share my experience and stories to attract more young talents and investors to Bangladesh,” Mao added.
Presenting the keynote paper titled “Bangladesh is a land of opportunities for trade and investment,” BIDA Director Ariful Hoque said Bangladesh’s trade – GDP ratio increased to 38% in 2018 from 18.9% in 1990.
“Bangladesh became the most gender-equal country in South Asia. Per capita income rose to $2,079 in 2019 from $928 in 2010. Bangladesh achieved around 7% growth during the last decade,” he also said.