Japan has expressed its commitment to providing up to 600 billion yen of assistance to Bangladesh from this year by fully taking into account the proper and smooth implementation of projects.
This was disclosed at a joint press conference here this afternoon after the summit-level official talks between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe at the Prime Minister’s Office.
At the press conference, Sheikh Hasina said the Japanese Prime Minister shared his intention to promote the concept of the Bay of Bengal Industrial Growth Belt (BIG-B) during the summit talks.
“I express our deep gratitude to Your Excellency Prime Minister Abe and your government for this commitment,” she said.
The Bangladesh premier thanked the Japanese government for approving the 35th ODA Loan Package for the execution of five important projects. “It will have an impact on the socioeconomic development,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said during the official talks with Shinzo Abe, they have discussed almost all issues of bilateral ties, including economic cooperation. “I am pleased to state that it was a very constructive discussion,” she said.
“Thereafter, we have signed a joint statement reflecting the issues discussed and convergences arrived at. And the joint statement would provide a guide for the implementation of issues we both decided to carry out for the mutual benefit of two countries,” she said.
The Bangladesh premier said she is visiting the great country, Nippon, the land of rising sun, at the invitation of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
“My delegation and I are deeply touched by the warm hospitality and courtesy extended to us since we have arrived in Japan,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said it is a matter of happiness for her to be visiting Japan again.
She said she has already extended an invitation to Prime Minister Abe and Madam Abe to pay a visit to Bangladesh soon. “The people of Bangladesh, my government and I are looking forward to receiving them in Dhaka,” she said.
Speaking at the joint press conference that was followed by signing of the joint statement and the note of exchange, the Japanese Premier said that Bangladesh has a great economic potential.
In order to explore the potential and expedite further growth, he said, Japan has come up with a concept with the Bay of Bengal Industrial Growth Belt (BIG-B) to realize the concept.
“To realize the concept, Japan is expected to exchange economic cooperation amounting to about 600 billion yen for roughly 4 to 5 years,” he added.
The Japanese Prime Minister said that he welcomed her Bangladesh counterpart in order to further strengthen the relationship between Japan and Bangladesh over the years.
“Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and I shared the view to build a comprehensive partnership,” he said.
“Taking this opportunity of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to Japan, I would like to further strengthen the bilateral relationship through comprehensive partnership,” he added.
Shinzo Abe said that in the areas of politics and security, Japan and Bangladesh will start foreign secretary-level talks to enhance policy dialogue.
“In order to jointly extend cooperation to the international communities, Japan will also provide its knowledge to build a peace-building center to be established in Bangladesh,” he added.
In the areas of nuclear power, the Japanese Prime Minister said that Tokyo and Dhaka will start an expert-level dialogue on the peaceful utilization of nuclear power in Bangladesh to share
the experience and lessons of the accident of Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
He said that they also shared the views to start a joint Bangladesh-Japan public-private economic dialogue to promote trade and expand private investment.
At the official talks, the Japanese premier expected that the democracy will be further promoted in Bangladesh under the able leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam, Ambassador-At-Large M Ziauddin, PM’s Principal Secretary Abdus Sobhan Sikder, ERD Secretary Md Mejbahuddin, Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque, Bangladesh
Ambassador to Japan Masud Bin Momen and PM’s Special Assistant Mahbubul Hoque Shakil were present during the talks, among others.
Earlier upon her arrival at the Prime Minister’s Office, Shinzo Abe welcomed Sheikh Hasina at the main entrance to his office.
After signing of the joint statement, both the Prime Ministers exchanged it. Bangladesh Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida signed the exchange of notes and also exchanged it.
Prior to the summit-level talks at the Prime Minister’s Office, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida called on Sheikh Hasina at the Akasaka Palace where she is staying.
Sheikh Hasina arrived here on Sunday on a four-day official visit at the invitation of her Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe.