Huge Japanese investment expected by 2030

Japan is framing a 10-year strategy plan of investment for Bangladesh as it considers the latter the most lucrative investment destination in both the manufacturing and the non-manufacturing sectors. 

As per the government's (BD) investment friendly plan, besides the existing companies, a good number of new Japanese companies are interested to increase and make investments in Bangladesh. 

According to a survey, it was learned that 70 per cent Japanese companies want to expand their investment in Bangladesh, which is the highest among other countries. On the other hand, around 50 Japanese companies are expected to arrive in the country every year with investment. 

To this end, a plan is chalked out from 2021 to 2030 to increase investment from Japan. Soon, a strategy will be announced on how much and in which sectors they are going to invest gradually by 2030. 

More investment will come in the infrastructure and services sector. Japan External Trade Organization’s(JETRO) Yuji Ando confirmed this recently. JETRO has also written to the commerce minister and the secretary. 

According to sources, how much investment will come during this tenure from Japan is yet to be known. But next week, a programme is going to be organised between JETRO and Chattogram Chamber of Commerce, where a deal is likely to be inked in this regard. 

In order to implement the plan, JETRO has initiated a virtual meeting titled 'Bangladesh's 50 years of friendly economic relations with Japan'. Yuji Ando, the Bangladesh head of Japan's largest economic entity, has come up with his own plan for the next ten years. 

On the other hand, the Prime Minister's Office is going to initiate Bangladesh-Japan Public Private Joint Economic Dialogue (PPED) in the first week of next month. 

It is learned that after the Joint Economic Dialogue or PPED meeting, a large amount of Japanese investment will come early next year. 

Stakeholders believe that Japanese investment will not only accelerate the country's economy, but also create new employment opportunities. Japan has decided to reduce its dependence on China due to rising production costs, geopolitics and the Corona crisis. Investors in Japan are now planning to leave China. 

Apart from this, the Japan Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JBCCI) is conducting a business matching webinar from November 12 to November 30, to seek more Japanese investment in the country. 

Tareq Rafi Bhuiyan, Secretary General of JBCCI during the virtual meeting urged Japanese investors to invest in Bangladesh as the country’s economy is growing fast. 

Country representative of JETRO Yuji Ando recently said, a good number of Japanese companies are expected to arrive in Bangladesh every year with investment plans due to the  favorable environment.  

Recently, Japanese Ambassador Ito Naoki met with the Commerce Minister. At the time, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said the two countries have a long-standing friendly trade and economic relations. Japan is the largest development partner of Bangladesh. Exports to Japan will increase if more trade facilities are provided for export. 

It is learned that Bangladesh is now the destination of big Japanese investments due to four reasons like Special Economic Zone, One Stop Service, Guarantee of Gas Electricity and Cheap Labor. If they move away from China and invest in this country, the industrialists of this country will get special incentives from the Japanese government. 

Japan has announced plans to set up its own car factory in Bangladesh. Japan has expressed interest in signing a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) to boost bilateral trade through duty-free facilities. 

Based on government data, it was learned that a total of 310 Japanese companies are now in Bangladesh and Japan investment is around USD 3.0 billion. 

Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) at its 7th Governing Board Meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, made the decision to establish 10 more economic zones, to bring more foreign direct investment in the country, especially those withdrawing from China following the trade unrest, and outbreak of pandemic coronavirus.  

As the government established a separate Economic Zone for Japan, it is expected that major investment will be made there. Besides, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s announcement on ‘Bangladesh on Development Highway: the time is ours,’ continued encouraging the foreign countries to invest more in Bangladesh.