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Big-B Initiative of Japan to bring more investment to Bangladesh, Shahriar says

Bangladesh, Japan to work together to face Covid-19, Rohingya challenges

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State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam has said the Bay of Bengal Industrial Growth Belt (Big-B) Initiative of Japan will accelerate cooperation for development of quality infrastructure and create more investment opportunities in Bangladesh.

These, he said, will also strengthen regional connectivity.

Japanese Ambassador Ito Naoki met the state minister on Tuesday and comprehensively discussed the bilateral relations and issues of common interests.

They also reviewed the progress of the Japan-funded major development projects, reports UNB.

Recognising Bangladesh’s leadership role in the climate change discourse, the Ambassador said the Japanese investors are willing to invest in clean energy.

Bangladesh and Japan agreed to work together to tackle the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Both sides recalled Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s groundbreaking visit to Japan in 1973 which laid the rock-solid foundation of the bilateral relations.

The state minister conveyed his deep appreciation for Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s participation at the event celebrating Bangabandhu’s birth centenary and the Golden Jubilee of the Independence of Bangladesh.

The two sides agreed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations in 2022 in a befitting manner, including through exchange of high-level visits.

State Minister Shahriar Alam stated that the Covid-19 pandemic posed an unprecedented challenging time for all and thanked the government of Japan for the Covid-related assistance.

He briefed the Japanese envoy on the initiatives taken by the government to combat the pandemic and sought support from Japan to continue its fight against the virus.

Japanese Ambassador highly appreciated the socio-economic progress of Bangladesh, even during the pandemic, under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and assured of continued support to Bangladesh to deal with the Covid situation.

Alam underscored that if 1.1 million Rohingyas were denied the opportunity to return to their ancestral homes in the Rakhaine state of Myanmar and it could have ramifications for regional and international security and stability.

He also urged Japan to use her influence to persuade Myanmar and the international community to create a conducive environment within Myanmar for safe and dignified return of the Rohingyas.

The Ambassador reiterated Japan’s commitment of continued support for Rohingya repatriation.

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