Japan has expressed its interest to sign a free trade agreement with Bangladesh, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said yesterday.
Hiroyasu Izumi, Japanese ambassador to Bangladesh, showed the willingness when he met with the minister at his secretariat office on Wednesday, according to a statement of the ministry.
“Japan is a very trusted friend of Bangladesh and doesn't have any political agenda. So, it is very easy to work with Japan,” he said.
Kamal said Japan is assisting Bangladesh in various mega projects. The Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport is being expanded with Japanese assistance. He said the way Bangladesh's economy is growing, more than 80 lakh international passengers will use the airport annually.
In the statement, Izumi said the Japan International Cooperation Agency is Bangladesh's biggest development partner and the assistance it provides is Japanese taxpayers' money. “It is the reflection of love from the people of Japan,” he said.
Japan is giving 200 billion yen ($1.8 billion) in loan to Bangladesh in six projects, including the metro rail one, the envoy said. “The level of loan will increase in future through state-level visits between the two countries.”
The minister requested the ambassador to increase the foreign investment in Bangladesh – to which Izumi responded positively.