August 13, 2022, 1:01 pm

Diplomatic correspondent

2022-06-08 08:02:38 BdST

Padma Bridge, other quality projects to boost foreign investors’ confidence: Japan envoy

Japanese ambassador to Bangladesh Ito Naoki on Tuesday said the inauguration of mega project Padma Bridge and other under-construction quality infrastructure projects will help boost foreign investors’ confidence in Bangladesh.

“Padma Bridge is going to be opened on June 25. This is really a wonderful moment for the country," he said highlighting the growing presence of quality infrastructure in Bangladesh.

Ambassador Naoki said clearly those who are looking at Bangladesh and its economy will have strong confidence in the improvement of quality infrastructure across the nation – in Dhaka, Chattogram and Cox’s Bazar.

This gives confidence in the minds of investors and in three to five years’ time from now, infrastructure development can be an advantage in attracting foreign investment in Bangladesh.

The ambassador was speaking at "DCAB Talk" at Jatiya Press Club organized by Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB).

DCAB President Rezaul Karim Lotus moderated the programme while its General Secretary AKM Moinuddin delivered welcome remarks.

Ambassador Naoki said the direct flight operations between Dhaka and Narita will soon be resumed which will give a sense of confidence among investors. He said Covid-19 pandemic delayed the overall preparations.

Naoki said there is growing interest among the Japanese investors to come and invest in Bangladesh. “There’s no doubt that Bangladesh is going to be the fastest growing economy in Asia in this decade.”

The ambassador highlighted the key factors, including growing quality infrastructure and stable environment.

He said the Dhaka Metro rail will begin its commercial operation by December this year and Bangladesh is becoming a very important destination for investment.

The ambassador also updated on Bangladesh Special Economic Zone in Araihazar which is also getting ready to host investment.

He also highlighted the mega projects for connectivity such as Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport expansion, Matarbari deep seaport, and Bangabandhu Railway Bridge which are in line to be completed.

Naoki also said that Japanese companies are more interested than ever to invest in Bangladesh as the government here has more coherent policies that draw foreign investments and its economy is growing continuously.

Defence Cooperation

The Japanese ambassador said that Tokyo is also interested to sell defence equipment to Bangladesh.

A Japanese private company visited Bangladesh to understand the level of interest in procuring defence equipment, particularly radar for the Air Force.

“This is an area to work with the government of Bangladesh as Bangladesh is trying to diversify the source of defence related procurement,” he said, adding that Japan has also relaxed its regulations in terms of exporting defence equipment.

It is already exporting defence equipment to Vietnam, the Philippines and ASEAN countries.

Rohingya Crisis

The envoy laid emphasis on early repatriation of the Rohingyas but reminded that there is a political reality which is a very difficult issue.

"This is a very difficult situation," he said, adding that they are calling for restoration of democracy halting violence.

Naoki said the crisis should not be allowed to become a destabilising factor for the region. "We need to have more coordinated approach to address the problem."

Restoration of democracy in Myanmar and improving the conditions in Rakhine state will be conducive to the repatriation of the Rohingyas to Myanmar, he said.

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