Japan has assured that it will ensure duty-free facility for imports from Bangladesh after the country graduates from the least developed country (LDC) club, a move being viewed as a big commitment from a country where Bangladesh is eyeing to expand business.
Also the country has hinted of investing more in Bangladesh’s readymade garment sector.
Bangladesh’s Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, who is leading a high-powered panel that is exploring business scopes in Tokyo, sought GSP status for Bangladesh after it graduates out of the LDC club while meeting Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko on July 24, 2018.
Minister Tofail extended his deep condolences over the July 1 Holey Artisan attack, where 7 Japanese nationals were killed in a militant attack in Dhaka, and once again, sought withdrawal of Japan’s travel restriction on Bangladesh. He explained that the country is now following a zero-tolerance policy towards militancy and terrorism.
In return, Minister Hiroshige Seko informed that Japan is happy with the development Bangladesh has made in economic and social frontiers. He assured that Japan will continue its GSP and financial facility to Bangladesh when it graduates out of the LDC club in 2024.
The minister also informed that Japan has ascertained that there is no existing threat for its nationals in Bangladesh and that the country will soon take steps to withdraw the level-2 travel ban currently in place on the country.
Minister Seko told the Bangladeshi delegation that Japan has invested almost US $ 1,467 million in Bangladesh, among which US $ 70 million was in 2017 alone in foreign direct investment (FDI). He said that Japanese investors might take an interest in the fashion designing for readymade garment, developing high-end clothing and manufacturing quality leather products in Bangladesh.
Among those present during the meeting were Bangladesh’s envoy to Tokyo Rabab Fatema, Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, president of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI); Siddiqur Rahman, vice president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA); and Munir Hossain, director of BGMEA; Md Obaidul, additional secretary for the commerce ministry.
In fiscal 2017-18, Bangladesh has had an overwhelming response in exports to Japan. The US $1.13 billion worth of shipment – riding on apparel exports (constitutes 74 per cent of the total exports) – has grown hopes of new opportunities among local manufacturers.