HSBC Bangladesh in partnership with JETRO organised a webinar titled ‘Bangladesh-Japan Business Corridor: Stakeholders Dialogue and Way Forward’ in the city on Wednesday.
The webinar was aimed at bringing the existing Japanese multinationals operating in Bangladesh, potential Japanese investors, large infrastructure project contractors, Japanese stakeholders facilitating the policies and profile of Bangladesh, together with economic, government, industry and financial services experts to share insights to help businesses advance their Bangladesh-Japan commercial business opportunities, according to a press release.
Key representatives from BIDA, BEZA, JETRO, Japan Embassy, Bangladesh Embassy in Japan, HSBC and senior Government of Bangladesh stakeholders spoke and discussed the opportunities and challenges that need to be addressed to attract more Japanese business flow in Bangladesh. An intervention session also took place with participation from country managers, senior officials, stakeholders of Japanese MNCs operating in Bangladesh mainly in the infrastructure development business.
Salman Fazlur Rahman, MP, also Private Industry and Investment adviser to the Prime Minister, was the chief guest of the programme. He applauded HSBC for further strengthening the economic and business linkages between Bangladesh and Japan. Salman F Rahman said: “Japan has been one of the major destinations for Bangladeshi goods. Our bilateral relationship has also enhanced in other areas, especially in trade and investment. We will do our best to facilitate Japanese investment in Bangladesh. Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina views Japan as a significant ally and is deeply committed to improving the bilateral ties between the two friendly countries.”
Ambassador of Japan to Bangladesh Naoki Ito also lauded HSBC for curating a platform and content that supports closer connectivity between Japanese companies and Bangladesh. He said: “With the leadership of new Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga, Japan remains committed to continuously supporting Bangladesh’s economic development. The establishment of Arihazar Economic Zone is a 1.0 billion USD investment project, which will attract lots of Japanese investment and has a potential to be the best economic zone in Asia by overcoming challenges of business environment such as tax, custom’s clearance and foreign remittance as well as giving incentives.”
Speaking at the event, Matthew Lobner, Head of International and Head of Strategy and Planning - Asia Pacific, HSBC, said: “HSBC’s extensive global network offers unparalleled access to high-growth markets like Bangladesh. By leveraging our international footprint, we connect businesses to a network covering more than 90 per cent of global GDP, trade and capital flows.”
Shahabuddin Ahmed, Ambassador of Bangladesh to Japan, Md Sirazul Islam, Executive Chairman of BIDA, Paban Chowdhury, Executive Chairman of BEZA, Yuho Hayakawa, Chief Representative of Bangladesh Office JICA, Yuji Ando, Country Representative JETRO Bangladesh and President JBCCI, Takasuke Sekine, Head of Global Business, HSBC Japan, and Md Mahbub ur Rahman, CEO, HSBC Bangladesh, also spoke on the occasion.
An intervention session was moderated by Md. Mahbub ur Rahman, CEO, HSBC Bangladesh, with participation from Hikari Kawai, Country General Manager, Marubeni Corp, Tetsuro kano, Country General Manager, Itochu and Tareq Rafi Bhuiyan (Jun), General Secretary, JBCCI. A message from Bangladesh Bank Governor Fazle Kabir was also read out.
Japan has been a key trusted development partner of Bangladesh growth story and the momentum is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years. The two key sectors where Bangladesh is expected to witness significant Japanese investment are Energy, Power and Infrastructure development. The Government of Bangladesh has accordingly prioritised these sectors which will be the essential twin pillars to achieve middle and high income country status by 2021 and 2041 respectively. Japanese investments to cater growing domestic demand and facilitate the supply chain reconfiguration also holds immense growth potential.