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Rubel Rana

Published:
2018-08-01 15:52:31 BdST

BD to have DFQF access to Japan even after graduation from LDC


FT ONLINE

Japan has assured Bangladesh that it will continue to have duty-free and quota-free (DFQF) access to the Japanese market even after it graduates from the least developed country (LDC) status.

Commerce minister Tofail Ahmed, who recently visited Japan, said this at a press conference at his secretariat office in the city on Tuesday.

The minister along with a high-powered delegation visited the Asian country to explore business opportunities.

Currently, Bangladeshi products enjoy Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) facility in the Japanese market.

"The ready-made garment (RMG) is the main export item for the Japanese market. Japan has assured me that it will continue to give DFQF facility to Bangladeshi products even after graduation from the LDC status in 2024," Tofail said.

He said Japan has been the largest bilateral donor for Bangladesh since independence. It has provided nearly US$12 billion in assistance since fiscal year (FY) 1971-72.

Currently, some 266 Japanese companies have invested in Bangladesh, said the minster.

The Bangladesh government has agreed to earmark a special economic zone (SEZ) for the Japanese investors, he added.

The commerce minister conveyed his deep condolences to the Japanese government over the death of seven Japanese nationals who were killed along with other victims in the Holey Artisan attack in Dhaka.

He also urged Japan to withdraw the Level 2 travel alert for travellers to Bangladesh.

He said Japanese investors believe that Bangladesh is now a risk-free country for trade and business, as they are implementing different projects in the county.

The minister said Japan has assessed that there is no militancy threat for its nationals in Bangladesh. It would take necessary action to withdraw the Level 2 travel warning as early as possible.

He said Japanese investors have shown keen interest to invest in the textile sector of Bangladesh.

Japan also wants to import manpower from Bangladesh, he added.

The minister expressed the hope that Japan will be the large export destination for Bangladeshi items in near future and export earnings from Japan will cross US$ 2.0 billion-mark within next two or three years.

Currently, Bangladesh earns US$1.13 billion from exports of goods, mostly RMG items, to Japan.

During his visit to Japan, Tofail Ahmed proposed holding the fourth meeting of public-private economic dialogue in Dhaka.

Japan has highly praised Bangladesh's kind supports towards displaced Rohingyas who fled violence in Myanmar, he told the press conference.

Japan has also sought Bangladesh's support for hosting the World Expo-2025, he added.

Currently, Japan is providing nearly US$3.60 billion for Bangladesh's largest power unit, Matarbari 1200MW coal-fired power plant, along with its township and a port facility development project, and nearly $2.0 billion for the country's first metro rail (MRT-6), according to a data.

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