A fresh impetus to Tokyo-Dhaka ties | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 01, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 01, 2010


A fresh impetus to Tokyo-Dhaka ties

Salient features of joint statement should be followed through

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's Japan visit has produced some tangible results. Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina covered extensive field of cooperation, bilateral and international, in their talks. These were featured by marked identity of views, commitment and shared sense of purpose.
Japan's development financing for Bangladesh has been a high-water mark in the relations between the two countries. Our PM's visit has contributed to renewing and strengthening Japan's role in our infrastructure building process, bilateral trade and expanding the horizon of Japanese investment in Bangladesh.
It is heartening to note that Tokyo's contribution to construction of the Padma bridge, highest by any individual country, now stands at $ 400 million with an additional infusion of $ 100 million this time. This top-priority project worth $ 2.4 billion, financed principally by the World Bank, ADB, IDB and Abu Dhabi Fund is to buttress connectivity between the capital and its eastern and western regions with considerable economic spin-offs.
In trade, Japanese assurance for relaxing GSP rules of origin for Bangladesh knitwear is a timely shot in arm of RMG export.
Japanese premier's expression of intent to work jointly with Bangladesh for formulating and implementing an Action Plan towards further enhancing Japanese investment needs to be followed through. The pointer to the need for an improved environment for investment should not be lost on us.
Japanese commitment of support to our disaster reduction measures in the face of climate change vulnerability is reassuring.
We are expecting Japan's help in social infrastructure building encompassing human capital development with skill diversification, an area in which we have a lot to learn and receive from Japan.
Of particular significance is the identity of views relating to peacekeeping operations to which Japan in the largest financial contributor and Bangladesh the biggest troops contributor. They share common views on combating international terrorism, nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, and, above all, UN reform. They are appreciative of their NGOs' contributions to international community.
Finally, Japanese prime minister's assurance of standing by Bangladesh in its endeavour for 'digital Bangladesh' and attaining the position of a middle-income country by 2021 is particularly welcome. Now, what we need is follow-up measures on the assurances and commitments by Tokyo as we do our part of the undertaking.

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