Information and Broadcasting Minister Hasan Mahmud said Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had set a work plan to build Sonar Bangla through the recovery of the country's war-ravaged economy, viewing Japan's post-war reconstruction.
"Considering Japan as Idol, Bangabandhu thought of the recovery of Bangladesh's economy and its development. Bangladesh is progressing ahead with enthralling the lesson from Japan on how the population of a country is to be transformed into skilled manpower," he was addressing a webinar titled "The 50th anniversary of the Japan-Bangladesh diplomatic relations and expectation for prosperous future" on Tuesday.
The Chattogram Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), Japan External Trade Organization (Jetro), Dhaka and Japan-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry jointly organised the event.
The minister further said Japan recognised Bangladesh as a sovereign country soon after its independence. At that time, it also extended its cooperation to Bangladesh for the recovery of its war-ravaged economy. During Bangabandhu's visit to Japan in 1973, Bangladesh signed a deal to build Jamuna Bridge. The then Japanese Prime Minister provided 9,000 million yen to reconstruct the worn-torn country and its economy.
"Bangladesh became one of the economic powers among the South Asian nations, utilising Japan's expertise in post-war reconstruction. In the last 10 years, Bangladesh's per capita income has increased by 4.50%," he added.
The minister is also hopeful that Japan-Bangladesh bilateral ties will get stronger in the future.
Japan External Trade Organisation's Chief Director General Kazuya Nakajo said "Jetro had set up its office in Dhaka in 1973. In 49 years of relations between the two countries, Bangladesh has achieved huge progress in garment manufacturing. Japanese companies have been playing an important role in Bangladesh's economy. For geographical advantage, Bangladesh is in an important position in South Asia. In this context, Chattogram and Matarbari ports will play a more significant role in the economies of the region."
Japan-Bangladesh Joint Committee for Commercial and Economic Co-operation Chairman Tero Asada said Bangladesh and Japan have both passed a crisis period due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh handled that crisis well. Bangladesh is progressing ahead toward its goal rapidly as it gave priority to infrastructural development for its economic progress.
Japan ambassador to Bangladesh Ito Naoki said "In 1971, economic activities had started with Japan through Chattogram Port. Japan always stands beside various infrastructural developments of Chattogram, including Shah Amanat International Airport. At present, more than 3,000 Japanese organisations are in operation in the country. Narayanganj's Araihazar Economic Zone will be the biggest centre of Japanese investment in Asia."
Bangladesh Ambassador to Japan Shahabuddin Ahmed said Japan-Bangladesh is moving forward together in the continuity of the relationship that was established during Bangabandhu's visit to Japan in 1973.
CCCI President Mahbub Alam said, "Mirsarai Economic Zone will be the gateway of Bangladesh's dream. I hoped that Japanese companies will proceed with a handsome amount of investment in the special economic zone."
CCCI Senior Vice-President Tarafder Md Ruhul Amin, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Association President Hikari
Kawai, Jetro's Country Representative Yuji Ando, Japan-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Asif A Chowdhury and Secretary-General Tarek Rafi Bhuiyan were also present.