Japan is expected to assist Bangladesh to prepare a roadmap with a view to facing challenges after its graduation from the Least Developed Countries (LDC) club in 2026.
To this effect, a five-member delegation from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Japan, is likely to visit in Bangladesh between August 09 and 12, 2022.
Katsuhiko Murayama, Director of Southwest Asia Offices of METI, will head the delegation which will include other high officials from METI. The delegation will discuss policy issues with the concerned governmental authorities and stakeholders, according to a letter of Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO).
The purpose of the visit is to assist Japanese government to prepare a roadmap and come up with recommendations to face the challenges to keep the pace of export, import and investment from Japan through mutual co-operation to face the challenges during the post LDC graduation of Bangladesh and further development of bilateral economic relations between Japan and Bangladesh, the letter said.
During the visit, matters related to mutual interest, including roadmap for industrial upgrading and possible Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is expected to be discussed.
With a view to signing FTA between Dhaka and Tokyo, the JETRO and the Japan-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry conducted a survey jointly in August 05 and October 14 in 2021.
The survey organisations sent questions to 300 companies of the two nations. However, some 142 companies out of 300 responded to the survey queries.
About 85 per cent of the Bangladeshi and Japanese companies with operations in both nations are in favour of signing a FTA between Bangladesh and Japan, according to the survey findings.
The proposed signing of an FTA between the two Asian countries will help maintain the duty-free market benefit to the developed nation.
Since 2012, Bangladesh's export volume crossed US $1.0 billion for the first time due to increased apparel items.
Of the total exports from Bangladesh to Japan, around 95 per cent are apparel items.
Bangladesh's products have so far got duty-free market access to only 38 countries, a senior commerce ministry official said.
Of the countries, around 28 member-states of the European Union (EU) are giving duty-free market facilities for Bangladeshi products, he added.
Besides, Japan, Chili, Norway, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, India and China are providing such marketing facilities.
Currently, Bangladesh is sincerely working to sign FTA/PTA with different developed countries as the countries will not provide duty-free facility after its graduation from LDC status in 2026.