Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed recently said that Japan showed interest to invest more in Bangladesh especially in the textile sector. “Japan is also interested to hire Bangladeshi people for its textile sector,” Tofail said at a post-Japan visit press conference at the Bangladesh Secretariat in Dhaka. A-nine member Bangladesh delegation led by Tofail visited Japan in July 23-26 and during the visit the delegation met Japanese economy, trade and industries Minister Hiroshige Seko and parliamentary Vice-Minister for foreign affairs Lwao Horii.
Tofail said that the Japanese Ministers assured that Japan would continue duty-free market access for Bangladeshi products even after the graduation of Bangladesh from a least developed country to a developing one. “I requested the Japan Government to withdraw the “Level-2″ travel restriction the country imposed on its citizen following the Holey Artisan tragedy in Dhaka. The Japanese Ministers are convinced that the law and order situation in Bangladesh is very good and they assured that the Japan Government would take initiative to withdraw the security alert,” he said.
The Commerce Minister said that he offered a special economic zone in Bangladesh for Japan and the Japanese Government showed interest to make investment in the SEZ. He hoped that the bilateral trade and investment relations between the two countries would increase in the coming years and the Bangladesh’s export to Japan would reach $2-bn mark within a short time. Replying to a question, Tofail said that the government was going to set a $44-bn export target for the financial year of 2018-19. Of the $44 bn, $39 bn would come from products while $5 bn from services, he said.
The Commerce Minister said that export earnings from the country’s leather sector fell short of its target by 12 per cent in FY18 due to various reasons. Tanneries have been relocated to Savar, on the outskirts of Dhaka, but factory owners are yet to get the registration of land and at the same time the effluent treatment plant in the tannery village is not fully operational, he said. “The leather sector is one of the promising sectors in the country and we have to identify and resolve the problems of the sector,” Tofail added.