Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) is optimist of largescale Japanese investment in Bangladesh based on competitive labour prices, the upward trend in the country’s per-capita income and increasing domestic demand.
In order to attract more Japanese investors, Bangladesh will have to remove the bottlenecks for investment and improve its position in the ease of doing business index, a Japanese trade diplomat said.
‘The number of Japanese companies operating in Bangladesh has increased around four times in 10 years. A total of 321 Japanese firms are currently running their businesses in the country which was 83 in 2010,’ he mentioned.
He informed that many Japanese entrepreneurs were expanding their businesses in different fields, including electric and consumer products, of the country.
He said that although the flow of Japanese investment was now slow due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, it was hoped that investment would increase in a bigger way as the Bangladesh government was implementing different projects, including the Japan Economic Zone at Araihazar upazila in Narayanganj.
He said that many Japanese infrastructure development companies were coming to Bangladesh to work at the Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA) projects, including the Matarbari deep sea port.
Japanese entrepreneurs are also showing their interest to invest in the country’s manufacturing, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), infrastructure development and tech and digital based startup companies, he added.
However, Yuji Ando mentioned that many challenges still existed for the Japanese and other foreign companies in Bangladesh, citing examples of infrastructure and taxation.
He urged the authorities concerned to change the foreign exchange regulations to ensure smooth foreign remittance by branch offices and foreign loans for working capital from the parent company.
He urged the government to ensure smooth services under the tax and VAT systems and to make the registration process easy.
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