Sound business climate needed to draw Japanese investment: envoy

Japanese companies are eager to invest in Bangladesh but it is important to remove bottlenecks first to create favourable business climate for Japanese companies, said Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh ITO Naoki.

His comment came at a roundtable on Japan-Bangladesh trade and business growth and the role of private sector banks organised by Eastern Bank Ltd (EBL) at its headquarters on February 4.

To attract Japanese companies to invest more in Bangladesh it is important to address the existing issues of the Japanese companies operating in Bangladesh, the Japanese envoy said.

"If that can be addressed there will be a greater flow of Japanese investment."

Some bottlenecks have been removed over the last six months, but there are still issues need to be addressed on an urgent basis, he added.

Hayakawa Yuho, country representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA); Yuji Ando, country representative of Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro) and president of Japan-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JBCCI); Hideaki Kojima, managing director and chief representative of MUFG Bank; Tareq Rafi Bhuiyan, secretary general of JBCCI, and Ali Reza Iftekhar, chairman of the Association of Bankers, Bangladesh (ABB) and managing director and CEO of EBL, were also present among others.

The Jetro country representative opined that the terms and conditions of letters of credit (LCs) should be more simplified for business growth in Bangladesh.

"Bangladesh has the most complicated LC opening conditions. There are terms and conditions, unique to Bangladesh. Simplification in LC opening conditions is crucial for business growth," said Hideaki Kojima, managing director and chief representative of MUFG Bank.

Iftekhar, the chairman of ABB, assured to take up the issues with the Bangladesh authorities concerned and try to resolve those.

EBL Deputy Managing Directors M Khurshed Alam and Ahmed Shaheen, Head of Retail and SME Banking M Khorshed Anowar, Head of Communications and External Affairs Ziaul Karim, Heads of Relationship Units Corporate Banking Riad Mahmud Chowdhury and Mehdi Zaman, Head of Treasury Md Obaidul Islam and Senior Manager Communications and External Affairs Seefat Jahan also participated at the roundtable discussion.