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Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed on Tuesday said Japan is interested to hire skilled manpower for its textile sector from Bangladesh.
The Minister said, Japanese investors are eager to invest in Bangladesh and a business delegation from that country will visit Bangladesh soon under the leadership of the Japanese Commerce Minister. Tofail Ahmed made the disclosure while talking to newsmen after a meeting with the visiting Member of House of Councillors of Japan, Hiroshi Yamada, and Japanese Ambassador to Dhaka, Hiroyasu Izumi at his ministry.
Replying to a media query, the senior Awami League leader said, there has no possibility of dialogue with BNP before the next Parliament election.
“I can tell you with responsibility on my own part, or even on behalf of my party, there is no chance of any dialogue with BNP. We invited BNP for dialogue before the last parliament election, and even offered it the Ministry of Home, but they did no receive. Rather, they created anarchy but failed to succeed, finally the people of the country have rejected them,” Minister mentioned.

He mentioned that Bangladesh has exported goods worth $1,012.98 million to Japan during the FY 2016-17, and imported goods worth $1,33.40 million. Now Japan is the 8th largest export market of Bangladesh.

“Trade between Bangladesh and Japan will reach at $3 billion within the next 2 to 3 years, Bangladesh RMG goods have a huge demand in the Japanese market, with RMG products worth $900 million being exported to Japan, and the demand is increasing day by day,” the Minister added.

He said, the government will take initiative to increase trade with Japan, and the country is providing duty free and quota free trade facilities on all products of Bangladesh besides arms and hand gloves. These facilities will exist even after graduation of Bangladesh to a middle income country.

He said, currently there are investments of 312 Japanese companies in Bangladesh, where an about 42,000-strong- workforce is employed. Japanese investment here is $1,467.28 million, Japanese investors have been invited to invest in any of the 100 special economic zones.

The Minister said that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has visited Japan thrice, and the country is a valuable business and economic partner of Bangladesh providing the most development cooperation to Bangladesh since the independence.

“Japan has provided financial support worth $18.6 billion to Bangladesh since independence, and providing technical support to 40 development projects here. During the visit to Bangladesh in 2014 Japanese Premier promised to provide $5 billion more,” the Minister said.

Regarding his recent Japan visit, the Commerce Minister said, Japanese investors have found an attractive investment climate here because of the friendly investment policy, cheap and skilled manpower.

The Minister pointed out that Russia, Japan and Azerbaijan have been the candidates for organising “World Expo-2025” of the WTO, for which Japan has sought support of Bangladesh, and we are thinking about it.

While addressing, Hiroshi Yamada praised the continued development of Bangladesh.

He assured Bangladesh of continued Japanese support, even after graduating from the LDC status, because Japan is a trusted friend of Bangladesh.

Hiroshi further said, Japanese investors will invest more in Bangladesh and also strengthen trade and economic cooperation with Bangladesh.

Commerce Secretary, Shubhashish Bose and other senior officers concerned were present during the meeting.

Staff Correspondent