This contrasts to 43.2 per cent of the companies that were profitable last year, he added.

He mentioned that Bangladesh was ranked fourth in terms of business confidence for 2022, up five notches from 2021.

Bangladesh is forecast to come third in terms of profit growth among all countries and regions, he added.

He said the business interest in Bangladesh will grow in the coming years as many Japanese companies started visiting the country with the relaxation of travel restrictions since March 1 last.

"This shows how large interest the Japanese companies have for Bangladesh as the situation improved substantially this year as compared to last year," he added.

The JETRO country representative informed that 68 per cent of companies are planning to expand their businesses in the next one to two years.

He said a total of 320 Japanese companies are doing business in Bangladesh and the number has risen in recent years due to the continuous economic growth in the past decade and huge business potential.

He informed that those expressing intent to widen their footprint cite growth potential and sales increases for the plans.

Some 54.6 per cent of companies are willing to expand the function of sales, 45.5 per cent plan to go for the production of high-value products, and 27.3 per cent for making general-purpose products, he added.

He said more than 15 per cent of companies intended to expand research and development activities to drive their business growth.

Yuji Ando cited the quality of employees and increased wages as top challenges facing companies in Bangladesh.

In the manufacturing sector, 61.9 per cent of firms stated that procurement cost has increased and mentioned difficulties in the local purchase of raw materials and parts, he informed.

He called for further improvement of the business environment for more competitiveness and to attract future investment.

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