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Bangladesh Offers Expanded Investment Opportunities to Japanese Companies in EPZs

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Bangladesh Offers Expanded Investment Opportunities to Japanese Companies in EPZs

In a recent statement, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh expressed her country’s willingness to allocate more space within its Export Processing Zones (EPZs) for Japanese companies interested in establishing industries in Bangladesh. This declaration came as a Japanese delegation conveyed the strong interest of numerous Japanese companies to invest in Bangladesh.

During discussions, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina reiterated Bangladesh’s commitment to fostering a favorable environment for Japanese investments. She stated, “Bangladesh has provided space to Japan in the EPZs, and we can allocate more space if Japan intends to establish industries.”

The Japanese parliamentary delegation, comprising five members and led by Nakanishi Yusuke, Director of the Committee on General Affairs in the House of Councillors, paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister at her official residence, Ganabhaban. After the meeting, the Prime Minister’s press secretary, Ihsanul Karim, briefed reporters on the discussions.

The Japanese delegation emphasized the importance of further strengthening the existing development partnership between Japan and Bangladesh. They highlighted Japan’s involvement in various significant projects, including the metro-rail, and praised Japan’s contributions to infrastructure development in Bangladesh, particularly in mega projects.

The delegation also commended the recently initiated direct flight between Dhaka and Narita, emphasizing its potential to enhance connectivity between the two nations. They underscored the need to maintain peace in the Indian Ocean region to facilitate trade and business.

Additionally, the Japanese delegation praised Bangladesh’s remarkable achievements in women’s empowerment and education. In response, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina highlighted that a significant number of girls in Bangladesh receive education in educational institutions, often surpassing the enrollment of boys. She also mentioned that her government provides free education to girls.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina further sought Japanese assistance in the construction of a sea aquarium in Bangladesh, emphasizing the potential benefits of such a project.

In a separate meeting, Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of the Nippon Foundation, informed the Prime Minister that the foundation will provide USD 3 million in support of the Rohingya population on Bhasanchar Island. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina reiterated the importance of the Rohingya people returning to their home country, Myanmar, and highlighted ongoing communication efforts with the Myanmar government in this regard.

Yohei Sasakawa, who survived the Second World War along with his mother when over one lakh people died, commended the strong friendship between Bangladesh and Japan. He also praised Bangladesh’s efforts to eliminate leprosy and rehabilitate those affected by the disease. The Nippon Foundation Chairman invited the Prime Minister to participate in the National Leprosy Conference scheduled to take place in Dhaka in October this year.

The meetings were attended by Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary M. Tofazzel Hossain Miah, Foreign Secretary (Senior Secretary) Masud Bin Momen, and Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Iwama Kiminon.

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Major American Corporations Eye Investments in Bangladesh: State Minister

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State Minister Ahsanul Islam

State Minister for Commerce Ahasanul Islam Titu announced on Tuesday (May 28) that major American conglomerates, including Amazon, Chevron, Coca-Cola, and Boeing, are showing keen interest in investing in Bangladesh.

“We are working to streamline the investment process for American companies, ensuring they can operate smoothly without any obstacles,” State Minister Titu told reporters following a meeting with a delegation from the US-Bangladesh Business Council at the Ministry of Commerce.

The minister highlighted that the discussion focused on simplifying investment procedures and removing any barriers that might deter new American companies from entering the Bangladeshi market.

A representative from Amazon attended the meeting, where discussions centered on the potential for Amazon to integrate Bangladeshi products into its global supply chain and enhance the local e-commerce infrastructure. “Amazon is looking into establishing a central warehouse in Bangladesh to facilitate regional and international product distribution,” Titu added.

The US delegation also explored opportunities in energy, digital payments, and startup sectors.

Titu outlined the primary goals of the United States-Bangladesh Business Council: improving market access for Bangladeshi products, facilitating US investments in Bangladesh, and strengthening bilateral relations. These efforts align with the government’s Smart Bangladesh strategy aimed at strategic growth.

Addressing concerns about some American companies withdrawing their investments from Bangladesh’s capital market, Titu emphasized the importance of welcoming international conglomerates. “If Facebook, Amazon, Chevron, Coca-Cola, and Boeing become involved in Bangladesh’s business landscape, it will significantly ease the country’s progress,” he stated.

Titu also mentioned Bangladesh’s scheduled graduation from the Least Developed Countries (LDC) category in 2026 and stressed the importance of securing market access in various countries within the next two years.

He assured that the government is committed to attracting international investors through policy support, emphasizing Bangladesh’s potential as a significant market with a stable government expected for the next five years.

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Bond Market Reforms Key to Investment Growth: Salman F Rahman

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salman f rahman

Prime Minister’s Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman F Rahman today underscored the need to bolster the country’s capital market to secure funding for investors.

“Globally, the capital market is the primary source for raising finance for investors. However, in our country, businessmen typically rely on bank loans for mid-term investments or expansion. We are working towards improving the bond market,” he stated.

Salman made these remarks following a meeting with an executive business delegation from the US-Bangladesh Business Council at the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) Bhaban in the city, sources said.

The meeting was attended by Board Chair of the US-Bangladesh Business Council and President and CEO of Excelerate Energy, Steven Kobos, along with President of the US-Bangladesh Business Council and South Asian Vice President of the US Chamber of Commerce, Ambassador (ret) Atul Keshap, among others.

Speaking to reporters, Salman mentioned the government’s efforts to safeguard the capital market from manipulation. “Share prices depend on the market. The government never interferes in this regard. The primary role of the government is monitoring,” he added.

He also highlighted the importance of institutional investors in strengthening the country’s capital market.

Moreover, Salman noted that US entrepreneurs have shown increased interest in investing in Bangladesh, recognizing the current government’s various development initiatives.

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PM Sheikh Hasina Seeks U.S. Business Support for ‘Smart Bangladesh’ Vision

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Sheikh Hasina

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today called on U.S. businessmen to support Bangladesh’s goal of becoming a developed and smart nation by 2041. Addressing a delegation from the US-Bangladesh Business Council at her official residence in Ganabhaban, she emphasized the importance of their partnership in this transformative journey.

“We aim to become a ‘Smart Nation’ by 2041. Your support in enhancing our global competitiveness and expanding our export base is crucial,” she said.

The Prime Minister highlighted Bangladesh’s imminent graduation from a “least developed” to a “developing” country in 2026, attributing this progress to sustained efforts over the last 15 years. “Our efforts have led to Bangladesh being recognized globally as a ‘Role Model of Socio-Economic Development’,” she stated, citing good governance, the rule of law, rural investment, women’s empowerment, and ICT advancements as key factors.

Sheikh Hasina noted the longstanding economic and developmental partnership with the U.S., which is Bangladesh’s largest export destination and source of foreign direct investment. She expressed optimism about further strengthening this relationship.

“To protect our economy from current pressures, investment—both domestic and foreign—is vital. The implementation of Bida’s One Stop Service (OSS) will facilitate this,” she said, addressing the OSS implementation progress review meeting at the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority’s (Bida) headquarters.

She urged the U.S. business community to invest in Bangladesh’s high-potential sectors, including renewable energy, shipbuilding, pharmaceuticals, and ICT. “We are establishing 100 Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and 28 hi-tech parks, making Bangladesh a prime destination for IT investments,” she added.

Highlighting Bangladesh’s competitive advantages, she mentioned the availability of a young, skilled workforce at competitive wages and the country’s liberal investment policy. She reassured investors of the government’s commitment to improving the investment environment.

In response to the Prime Minister’s address, Bida Executive Member Mohsina Yasmin presented a report on OSS progress, while NBR Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem assured the business community of considering logical amendments to the Customs Act.

Sheikh Hasina underscored Bangladesh’s significant socio-economic achievements, including reduced poverty rates, increased life expectancy, and higher literacy rates, particularly among women. She noted that Bangladesh is currently one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, projected to be the 25th largest by 2030.

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