Bangladesh is blessed with having a well-wisher like Japan. National flags of two countries that are similar in design represent heartfelt relation. Japanese Prime MinisterShinzo Abe has in the meantime committedto stand by Bangladesh until achieving the status of developed countries one by 2041.
Japan is such a country that did never reject our proposals whenever placed. Even though, to promote our war-ravaged economy, Japan's speedy supports in post-war period were really appreciable. So, Japan's contribution in our economy can't be expressed briefly.
It is a must say that Bangladesh has made tremendous progress economically with financial assistance of Japan. Japan's support in majority areas brought the country forward.
There needs to be mentioned here that relation with Japan never ends. In 2008, only the number of 70 Japanese companies was recorded in our country where in 2018 the companies rose to 278. With this statistics, It is clearly said that Japan always feels the necessity of setting up plants in our country aiming to gear up economic growth rate.
According to World Bank ( WB), Bangladesh's economy is now booming among South Asian countries. So, to keep this growth trend, there is no alternative to develop economic relation. Bangladesh is set to keep ability to dominate any viable economies in the world if Japanese-born investors show keenness to start business.
Soon after taking oath as prime minister for third term, Sheikh Hasina is being noticed to fly abroad aiming to bring investors. Truly speaking, Japan attentively looks after our economy. Naturally, the people of Japan are fond of the Bangladeshi-born people. It is impossible for me to express the real cause behind close relations between thetwo Asian nations.
Actually, the relation with Japan was builtup byBangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman known as father of the nation. During his maiden visit in Japan in 1973, he kicked off relationship for the betterment of Bangladesh. From the beginning of introduction, Japan had been playing a key role in implementing country's large projects.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is on the race to promote old relation in many ways recalling her father's journey in Japan to make Bangladesh prosperous one. Japan did not wait to recognize Bangladesh as an independent country. The recognization message came on 10 February, 1972.
A good number of Japanese investors are expected to join our economy following request done by Sheikh Hasina who is current prime minister of Bangladesh. Before flying, she planned to talk with investors of Japan. Finally, herrecent visit to Japan has been effective much since she also gained the ability of bringing fund amounting US $ 2.5 billion as Official Development Assistance (ODA) due to execute half a dozenongoing large projects. Japan's continuous support helped Bangladesh to go up economically, no doubt. Bangladesh must be turned into Japan soon if their assistance is made sure in all areas like previous days.
According to published report in a daily, as of November last year private Japanese companies made investment amounting US$ 326 million excluding Japan Tobacco. Since 1972, Bangladesh received US$ 11.3 billion in ODA. Bangladesh Bank (BB) revealed that around US$ 205 million export receipt was confirmed during October - December, 2018 where US$ 167 million recorded in same period of 2017. So, based on above figures, Bangladesh is slowly moving towards export growth that is a must for our economy.
I am sorry to say that out of 30 countries, Japan ranked 24th in respect ofsending foreign remittance by Bangladeshi workers working there. Remittance from wage earners working in Japan is recorded only US$ 31.44 million in fiscal year 2017-2018 out of total US$ 14,981.69 million, according to BB. Where wage earners sent remittance US$ 2592 million, US$ 2430 million, US$ 1998 million from KSA, UAE, USA in above stated period, Japan failed to keep pace with these three countries.
As Bangladesh now needs foreign remittance to make import payment, the request from my side to hire Bangladeshi people to be employed there (Japan). Why the door for wageearners had been closed is unknown to me. Once upon a time, Japan was interested to bring our people as labor but now Japan rarely shows interest in hiring us. Sheikh Hasina, who is also known as mother of humanity, should have discussed about the burning issue.
I think, upcoming 4th round of Public and Private Economic Dialogue (PPED) between Japan and Bangladesh scheduled to be held in Dhaka on 4 July would bring the migration issue on the discussion table among others. Though japan has been continuing scholarship facilities for Bangladeshi students and faculties, the opportunity of permanently settlement in Japan has not yet been created.
PPED should put in place this issue. Japan might take the sharp decision of setting up more plant in Bangladesh because of cheap labor and decent business environment. Moreover, a special economic zone for Japanese investors situated in Narayangonj would change their mind because of having required facilities in the zone whatever they need.
Right now, apparel products need to be sold in Japan more. We have not yet managed the Japanese buyers to a great extent in order to sell our garment products. Since Bangladesh lacks qualitative labor force, we might hire Japanese trainers to train our low skilled labor force. In his regard, an immediate deal should be signed.
If Japan and Bangladesh jointly keep up the friendly relation for years, Bangladesh must go forward in the days to come with technological as well as infrastructural advancement like Japan. To conclude, as a Bangladeshi-born writer, I am grateful to Japan for remaining close to us in weal and woe.
Md Mazadul Hoque is currently serving at Social Islami Bank Ltd. Member- Bangladesh Economic Association ( BEA). Email: email@example.com
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