The ambassador of Japan in Bangladesh Naoki Ito on 24 April said the Japanese big companies are very keen to invest more in the country's special economic zones, UNB reports.

"The location of Bangladesh is very important strategically and economically. Around 300 Japanese companies are operating in Bangladesh. Many Japanese big companies including Mitsubishi will invest more in Bangladesh's economic zones including Araihazar, Mirsarai and Matarbari," ambassador Ito said while addressing a webinar.

The virtual discussion was jointly organised by Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) and Better Bangladesh Foundation (BBF) while BBF chairman professor Masud A Khan moderated the webinar.

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Naoki Ito said 50 per cent of Japanese companies are going to invest in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries.

Bangladesh is a regional hub for investment. The coronavirus has created vulnerability in supply chain. The ambassador, however, put emphasis on infrastructure development.

Naoki added that Bangladesh can catch new markets in Asian countries including Japan and Korea with its diversified RMG products.

Planning minister MA Mannan said, "Our economy is a win-win situation. We have made smooth places for investors. BIDA has opened one stop services to make services easy for all," he also said.

Former governor of Bangladesh Bank Atiur Rahman cited some major projects including Padma Bridge, Metro rail and Matarbari as game changers for the country.

“We need to skill up our youths. The country is an attractive destination for all investors," he also said.

BIDA executive chairman Sirazul Islam said the one stop services would improve Bangladesh’s business rank.

“Our rank is 168 now that's not good. We have recently reformed many things. I hope this position will improve much more in the upcoming ranking," he added.

Sirazul also said they arrange all things for foreign investors such as receiving in airport, transportation and hotel services.

Nicole Mao, one of the Chinese investors in Bangladesh, also spoke.

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Presenting key-note paper titled-"Bangladesh is a land of opportunities for trade and investment," BIDA director Ariful Hoque said Bangladesh's trade -GDP ratio has increased to 38 pe rcent in 2018 from 18.9 per cent in 1990.

"Bangladesh became the most gender-equal country in South Asia. Per capita income rises to $2079 in 2019 from $928 in 2010. Bangladesh achieved around 7 per cent growth during the last decade," he also said.

He added that 150 services of 34 agencies will be offered through One Stop Services (OSS). 41 services of 11 agencies are included from OSS.

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