Bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Japan will reach $20 billion by 2030 from more than $3 billion at present as apparel shipments to the far eastern country are rising fast, said Ito Naoki, Japan’s ambassador to Bangladesh.
The envoy also said that garment exports from Bangladesh to Japan totaled $1.10 billion in the last fiscal year and it is expected that shipments will rise 10-fold to reach $10 billion by 2030.
At the same time, Bangladesh’s imports from Japan will increase five-fold to reach $10 billion and as such, the bilateral trade volume will cross $20 billion, indicating growth in recent years.
For instance, the number of Japanese companies in Bangladesh tripled over the last 10 years to hit 338 in 2022, and most of them are desperate to expand their business in the country.
Naoki was speaking at the 17th annual general meeting of the Japan-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JBCCI) at Lakeshore Hotel in Dhaka on Monday.
Most companies conducting bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Japan want the two nations to sign a free trade agreement (FTA) to retain duty privileges even after the former graduates from a least developed country in 2026.
However, Bangladesh needs to improve the business climate for signing an FTA, preferential trade agreement, or economic partnership agreement with Japan, he said.
He also said that the bilateral relations between his country and Bangladesh are ever-growing.
For instance, the Japanese Special Economic Zone at Araihazar upazila in Nayaranganj will be the best in Asia in terms of facilities, infrastructure, labour and industrial relations, and business environment.
Moreover, Naoki sought the government’s cooperation in establishing the proposed management and technology centre for training skilled manpower at Purbachal town in Dhaka to fill up the gap of trained human resources.
Regarding the migration of skilled manpower from Bangladesh to Japan, Naoki said Bangladeshis would have the opportunity to go to Japan and work in the caregiving sector by April next year.