POST TIME: 26 May, 2019 11:57:14 PM
Tokyo to give Dhaka $2.5b in dev assistance
Deal during Hasina’s May 28-30 Japan visit
Diplomatic Correspondent, Dhaka

Tokyo to give Dhaka $2.5b in dev assistance

Japan is going to ink a deal with Bangladesh for providing $2.5 billion Official Development Assistance (ODA) during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s official visit to Tokyo from May 28-30. Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen said the amount of the 40th ODA would be 35% higher compared to the amount given last year. He added that Hasina and her Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, would discuss various important matters, including the Rohingya crisis.

“The comprehensive partnership between Bangladesh and Japan has reached great heights. Japan is an important trading partner of Bangladesh and is one of the major sources of foreign investment. So, the cooperation between the two countries is expanding in various key areas like communication, power and energy and industrial process,” he said.  

The minister came up with the statement at the UNCLOS conference room in the foreign ministry on the eve of Hasina’s three-day official visit to Japan.

The projects undertaken under the ODA packages are Matarbari Port Development Project (1), Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project (Line 1), Foreign Direct Investment Promotion Project (II), Energy Efficiency and Conservation Promotion Financing Project (Phase-2) and Matarbari Ultra Super Critical Coal Fired Power project (V).

Momen said the PM’s visit will play a key role in expanding bilateral cooperation in various areas such as power, trade, investment, manpower export, infrastructural development, tourism and technical assistance. The entourage of PM Sheikh Hasina will include finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, PM’s private industry and investment adviser Salman F Rahman, state minister for foreign affairs Md Shahriar Alam, state minister for power, energy and mineral resources, state minister for expatriates’ welfare and overseas employment ministry. Besides, a business delegation will also be with the entourage of the PM.   

Momen said Hasina will hold bilateral meeting with the Japanese PM and will also attend a banquet organized in her honour. Before the bilateral meeting, a guard of honour will be given to Hasina. Both the PMs are also expected to deliver a joint statement at a press conference, added Momen.  

Momen said Bangladesh will request the Japanese PM to assist in addressing the Rohingya crisis. He added that Hasina will also hold a meeting with top business organisations to discuss trade and investment. Hasina will also have a meeting with JICA president Shinichi Kitaoka besides meeting expatriates from Bangladesh.

Hasina will also attend an international conference on “The Future of Asia” as a keynote speaker organised by Japanese media organisation Nikkei Inc. The conference, which is held every year, is attended by government and business representatives of various countries who unveil their plans for Asia. The theme of this year’s conference is ‘In Search of the New Global Order-Overcoming the Chaos.’ Around 500 delegations, including heads of governments, entrepreneurs and business leaders, will attend the conference.

After visiting Japan, the PM would fly to Saudi Arabia to attend the 14th Islamic Summit of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation at Mecca at the the invitation of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. The summit is scheduled to be held on May 31.