Bangladesh became the largest recipient country of Japanese Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) or Yen Loan commitment in Japan's fiscal year 2020 (April 2020 – March 2021).
The information was disclosed at a virtual meeting between Fatima Yasmin, secretary of Economic Relations Division, and Ito Naoki, Japanese ambassador to Bangladesh, on Wednesday.
The Japan government committed 373,247 million Japanese Yen ($3,393 million) loan to the Bangladesh government in their FY2020.
The total loan includes project loans and financial assistance for Covid-19 recovery measures.
At the virtual meeting, both the ERD secretary and the Japanese ambassador exchanged views on the future economic cooperation under the Japanese ODA or Yen Loan Programme, read a press release.
The Japanese envoy reiterated his country's commitment to support Bangladesh in achieving its development goals during the meeting while the ERD secretary acknowledged Japan's continued support.
The ERD also recently requested the Japan government to include six projects to their 42nd Yen Loan Package for the Japanese financial year 2021.
The six projects that were requested to be included in the 42nd Yen Loan Package are Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Line-1 (2nd Tranche), Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Line-6 (5th Tranche), Matarbari Coal Fired Power Project (6th Tranche), Matarbari Coal Fired Power Project, (2nd Phase), Southern Chattogram Regional Development Project, and Health Sector Development Policy Loan.
Among those, the Southern Chattogram Regional Development Project and Matarbari Ultra Super Critical Coal-Fired Power Project will serve to promote the Initiative of The Bay of Bengal Industrial Growth Belt (BIG-B).
The BIG-B initiative is aimed at accelerating industrial agglomeration along the Dhaka-Chattogram-Cox's Bazar belt area and beyond, encompassing developing economic infrastructure, improving investment environment and fostering connectivity.
Due to the adverse impacts on the human life and livelihood caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the ERD also requested for budget support loan to deal with the raging Covid-19.
The extent of cooperation and strong partnership between the two countries have further deepened after the visits of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to Japan and the then Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe to Bangladesh in 2014.