Bangladesh to be next Singapore
Bangladesh has the potential to become the next Singapore on completion of the Japan-assisted projects, especially the ones in Matarbari, Japanese Ambassador Ito Naoki has said on Wednesday.
The Japanese Ambassador made the prediction while paying a courtesy call on Bashundhara Group Managing Director Sayem Sobhan Anvir at latter’s residence in the afternoon.
“Bangladesh will take its place on the world stage once the third terminal of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, Metro Rail and Matarbari power projects are being implemented,” Ito Naoki noted.
In particular, Matarbari will be like a modern Singapore as maritime communications of the country will get a new dimension, he pointed out.
Complementing the observations of the Japanese envoy, Bashundhara Group Managing Director Sayem Sobhan Anvir said, “It is true that everything came to a standstill due to the coronavirus pandemic. But things are changing now and we hope our country will move forward overcoming the challenges.’’
“We believe in Bangladesh and we are confident that we can overcome all the obstacles and move forward.’’
Mentioning that the Japanese government is looking forward to developing the Matarbari belt like another Singapore, Ito Naoki said, “Bangladesh can be next Singapore because if you look at the size of the island of Matarbari— that is half the size of Singapore.”
Bangladesh Pratidin Editor Naem Nizam, Kaler Kantho Editor Imdadul Haque Milon, Daily Sun Editor Enamul Hoque Chowdhury and Bashundhara Kings President Imrul Hasan were also present on the occasion.
The Japanese envoy said Matarbari will be an excellent industrial hub as well as the largest port facilities down the line in Bangladesh.
“It will also enhance the connectivity inside Bangladesh and between Bangladesh and India, as well as Asian countries.”
“The development of Matarbari has such a wonderful potential here so I said Bangladesh has the vision 2041 and then Bangladesh will become a developed nation. Bangladesh will be really embarking upon a success story,” he said.
The Matarbari coal-fired power plant project, including a deep seaport, is being implemented in Cox’s Bazar’s Matarbari area at cost of Tk 359.84 billion.
The project’s physical progress till September stood at 34 per cent while the financial progress was 38.9 per cent with Tk 140 billion cumulated expenditure so far.
“Bangladesh is already a role model of development in this region despite the corona pandemic and I am sure Bangladesh will implement what they have planned to make the most of out this geographical location and strategic location between India and Asia.”
Bangladesh has a better economic future if it looks more to the eastern side including Japan, Ito Naoki noted.
“I am really happy that Japan will be able to continue to provide cooperation and assistance for the further development of Bangladesh as well as further strengthen the business partnership between Japan and Bangladesh.”
At the moment, 350 Japanese companies are operating here in Bangladesh, the Japanese enjoy informed.
“ This number has tripled and over the last 10 years or say in the recent decade.”
“Japan is the largest export destination of Bangladesh over the last years. As far as export is concerned, Japan is a larger export market than China or India,” an upbeat Ito Naoki said.
“Japan is a very solid market now and based on this my hope is to increase investment flow coming from Japan to Bangladesh,” he added.
Ito Naoki also referred to the Araihazar special industrial zone, being exclusively built for Japanese companies, adding that there will be about 100 companies in that industrial zone.
“There will be investments of over $100 billion down the line that will step up the level of cooperation and level of partnership for trade and investment between Japan and Bangladesh,” he said.
We have a very similar mentality and I am really confident on the economic partnership between the two countries,” the Japanese envoy said, adding “We have a natural affinity between people of Japan and Bangladesh.”