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Japan with BD in its dev journey, Abe tells Hasina
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina meet ahead of talks at Abe's office in May 2014. KYODO

Japan with BD in its dev journey, Abe tells Hasina

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday assured his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina of continuing his county’s support to materialise her Vision 2021 for elevating Bangladesh to a middle-income country by 2021.

Abe came up with the assurance during a bilateral meeting with Sheikh Hasina at Associa Hotel in Nagoya. Tokyo, UNB News Agency Reported.

PM’s Principal Secretary Md Abul Kalam Azad, Economic Relations Division (ERD) Senior Secretary Mohammad Mejbahuddin, PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim and Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque briefed reporters after the meeting.

At the very outset of the meeting, the Foreign Secretary said, the Japanese Prime Minister highly appreciated Sheikh Hasina’s role in the G7 outreach meeting and her interventions there.

“Your interventions and contributions helped the G7 leaders to lead the discussion which ultimately helped us in our key components of the outcome elements,” Abe said.

Terming the meeting successful and beyond expectations, Shahidul Haque said Hasina proposed Japan to formulate an arrangement for ‘Trade creating investment with buy back arrangement’.

Shinzo Abe directed JICA to explore the proposal, he said.

Putting forward a proposal to invest in exclusive economic zones, Hasina requested Japan to help Bangladesh in the SME sector, energy efficiency, nano technology and skill development.

The Foreign Secretary also said the Japanese Prime Minister instantly asked the GBIC and JICA to explore possibility of giving assistance in nano technology.

Shahidul mentioned that the Japanese Prime Minister informed his Bangladesh counterpart from July 1 the diplomatic passport holders will not need to take visa for traveling in Japan. “They’ll get on arrival visa.”

He also said Bangladesh starts negotiation for the same kind of treatment for official passport holders and businessmen.

The ERD Senior Secretary said after the 2014 visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to Japan, both the countries started comprehensive partnership. Abe said he wants to make this partnership stronger, he added.

Abe also expressed his interest to improve the trade and investment relations with Bangladesh, he said.

“They gave emphasis on the quality infrastructure development in Bangladesh. Matarbari coal-based power plant will come under this initiative along with MRT (metro rail) and separate rail line apart from the Bangabandhu Bridge,” he added.

Both the Prime Minister discussed the construction of third terminal at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport where JICA has already been continuing its activities. “We told them to expedite their activities aiming to start the operation of this terminal at least partially by 2019 and to complete the project by 2020.”

The Prime Minister also sought technological assistance for materialising the blue economy concept and Japan said they will consider the matter, said Mohammad Mejbahuddin.

The Prime Minister thanked the Japanese Prime Minister for relaxing rules of origin for Bangladeshi knit import here.

PM’s Principal Secretary Md Abul Kalam Azad said Abe expressed his interest to visit Bangladesh again when the Bangladesh Prime Minister invited him.

He said the two Prime Ministers also discussed the progress of the Big-B project in Chittagong and prospective Japanese support to implement the mega project.