Japanese investors on Tuesday emphasised improving of corporate governance in Bangladeshi companies for attracting joint venture from Japan.
At a seminar on the role of corporate governance in investment decision making, they also said that Japanese firms were now showing huge interest to invest in Bangladesh but they felt lack of corporate governance in Bangladeshi firms for choosing local partner.
International Finance Corporation, a member of World Bank Group, and Japan-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry organised the seminar in a city hotel where top officials of Japanese firms and Bangladeshi companies having business with Japan attended.
The number of Japanese companies operating in the country increased 10 times to 269 in 10 years and the number is increasing every year.
Two keynote papers at two separate sessions on challenges of family business in improving corporate governance practices, and corporate governance practices in Bangladesh — investor perspective were presented at the seminar.
Shoo-Koo-Kai president Akihisa Tomioka said that though family business was not a bad thing but transparency in financial report was a prerequisite to do business with Japanese companies.
Shoo-Koo-Kai is a platform of Japanese companies operating in Bangladesh.
The overall compliance level should be higher and corporate governance is a must for attracting joint venture investment from Japan, Akihisa said.
Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) country representative Daisuke Arai, also the president of JBCCI, emphasised improving the quality of labours as 62 per cent of Japanese companies operating in Bangladesh thought that the quality of labour force was not up to the mark.
JBCCI secretary general Tareq Rafi Bhuiyan Jun said that Japanese investors were showing interest in trade and investment in Bangladesh following steady and higher economic growth in the country.
PRAN-RFL Group director Uzma Chowdhury said that it was a matter of time that the level of corporate governance would increase along with improvement in trade and business in the country.
Abdul Monem Group deputy managing director ASM Mainuddin said that corporate governance was a must to bring companies like Honda to the country.
Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission commissioner Swapan Kumar Bala, IFC senior corporate governance officer Sanaa Abouzaid, IFC corporate governance officer Lopa Rahman and Japan embassy in Bangladesh deputy chief of mission Takeshi Ito also spoke at the seminar, among others.
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