Japan has asked Bangladesh to have a blitz on the business environment and services to the existing Japanese companies as preconditions to come by fresh investments from the far-east Asian country.
Many Japanese companies have been looking for new destinations to move their investments from China after the Covid-19 fallout.
To attract these investors, Bangladesh needs to extend all-out support to the existing investors, Yuji Ando, representative of Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro) in Bangladesh, said in reply to an email sent by The Daily Star.
He recommended that Bangladesh should immediately launch special flights to bring back around 500 Japanese investors and high officials who returned to their country in April after the Covid-19 outbreak and extension of their visas.
"…We need supports in this regards to fully restart the operation in Bangladesh. It will contribute to increasing employment in Bangladesh," Ando said.
Recommendations of the Jetro representative also include the resumption of smooth operation at Chattogram port, extension of banking hours, permission from the government to lay off employees from Japanese companies and easy access to the stimulus packages announced by the government.
"We would like to request the government to deal with the challenges and issues for existing companies. Unless and until the government resolves the issues, new investments cannot be expected because investors compare the current investment climate with other countries, like ASEAN and other South Asian countries," Ando said.
"As a trade and investment promotion agency, we are doing the best to promote FDI to Bangladesh and we appreciate the government for all their efforts, on the other hand, we are working together to improve the business environment more. There is no end in improvement," Ando said.
Meanwhile, the government and Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) have recently approached Japan for more investment in the post-Covid period.
FBCCI in a letter to JETRO Dhaka office on May 12 urged the Japanese investors in China to consider Bangladesh as a potential destination.
Ministries of foreign affairs and commerce discussed the issue at a meeting held at the secretariat on May 20.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen told journalists after the meeting that some Japanese investors in China have already communicated with Bangladesh.
Bangladesh embassy in Beijing in a letter to the foreign ministry sent on May 20 informed that 34 out of 690 Japanese companiesin China want to relocate their manufacturing plants to other countries. The Daily Star obtained a copy of the letter.
The list of the companies includes Mazda Motor, Koito Manufacturing Company, Kasai Kogyo, Iris Ohyama, Sony Corporation, Ricoh Corporation, Asics, Sharp Corp., Nintendo Co., Kyocera Corp. Casio, Seiko, Panasonic, Aisin Seiki Co, Toyota Boshoku Corp. and Fujitsu General Ltd, the letter said.