Tokyo renews pledge of $6b to Dhaka
Japan yesterday assured Bangladesh that it would fulfil its commitment to provide $6 billion, of which $1.5 billion would be released this year.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gave the assurance during an official bilateral meeting with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina in Nagoya.
Hasina is now in Japan on an official visit to attend the G7 Outreach Meeting.
PM's Principal Secretary Abul Kalam Azad, Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim, Senior Secretary of the Economic Resources Division Meshbah Uddin and Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque briefed reporters after the meeting.
During the talks, the Japanese PM assured Hasina of conducting a feasibility study on the proposed modern airport at Charjanazat on the other side of the Padma Bridge.
Japan also agreed in principle to take steps for building the third terminal of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport by 2019, the secretaries said.
Issues of economic cooperation, development and cooperation in global arena came up for discussion. The two countries agreed to take the bilateral partnership to a new height, which took shape after Hasina's visit to Japan in 2014, they added.
“Japan will continue to support your aspirations to become a middle income country by 2021,” the Japanese premier was quoted as saying.
Abe also assured Hasina of further relaxing the rules of origin to promote trade and business between the two countries.
Attaching importance to quality infrastructure in Bangladesh, he said the Matarbari coal-based power plant and Dhaka Metro Rail would be two such projects.
“A dedicated railway bridge alongside the existing Bangabandhu Bridge, development of cross-border connectivity and a number of some other proposed projects would be included under the quality infrastructure development initiative,” said the Japanese leader.
He highly appreciated Hasina's contribution to G7 Summit that concluded in Nagoya on Friday. “Your intervention and contribution helped the G7 leaders lead the discussion which ultimately helped us in our key components of the outcome elements,” Abe told Hasina.
The Bangladesh PM sought Japan's support to develop a knowledge-based economy, nano technology and blue economy. Japan agreed to extend support to this end.
Hasina thanked the Japanese premier for relaxing some rules of origin with regards to knit garment export, which led to increase of export to Japan from Bangladesh.
The foreign secretary said the meeting between the two leaders was held in a very warm and cordial environment.
The two premiers also discussed the progress of the Big-B project in Chittagong and the prospective Japanese support to implement the mega project, added Shahidul.
Abe asked the officials of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to explore Hasina's proposal for Japanese investment in Bangladesh with a buy-back arrangement.
Hasina proposed some new areas, including energy efficiency, nano technology and skill development, before Abe for his country's large-scale support.
According to a decision taken in the meeting, holders of diplomatic passports would get on-arrival visa for travelling to Japan from July 1.
The two premiers agreed to work together on various international issues and in the discourse for reformation of the United Nations.