Japan-funded mega-projects will ‘change the face’ of Bangladesh: Ambassador Naoki

  • Staff Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2021-02-24 03:53:15 BdST


Ito Naoki, the Japanese ambassador to Bangladesh, has said the five mega-projects funded by JICA, including Dhaka Metrorail and Matarbari Deep Sea Port, will be completed by 2025.

“Those are essential for the growth of Bangladesh, for fulfilling its potential, and will change the face of the nation once they are completed,” he said at an event celebrating the 61st Birthday of the Japanese Emperor Naruhito in Dhaka on Tuesday night.

The ambassador said the much-awaited Dhaka Metrorail will partially open in December this year.

“After that, the Special Economic Zone in Araihazar, Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport extension, Matarbari Deep Sea Port and Power Stations, and Bangabandhu Railway Bridge will start operating one after another.”

Naoki also mentioned that last August, he signed the largest-ever annual yen-loan package of approximately $3.2 billion for BIG-B’s quality infrastructure projects.

“Japan will continue to extend its support to Bangladesh’s development as much as possible, bearing in mind it also leads to the overall stability and prosperity of Bay of Bengal and Indo-Pacific region, which are conducive to realise our common vision of Free and Open Indo-Pacific or FOIP,” he said.

The ambassador said though the pandemic affected "daily lives of all of us", the year 2020 saw “further strengthening of relations” between Japan and Bangladesh.

“Japan supported Bangladesh in its fight against the pandemic and provided for the first time the budget support of approximately $330 million in August last year,” he said.

Addressing the event as chief guest, Education Minister Dipu Moni said the role of Japan as a key development partner has been instrumental for Bangladesh to develop further.

“Now Bangladesh and Japan are working towards a strategic partnership to reach an even higher level of bilateral relationship.

“Since 1972, Bangladesh has received the largest official development assistance from Japan, making Japan the largest bilateral development partner.”

Dipu Moni added Japanese contribution has been of vital importance in the areas of infrastructure and human resource development, agriculture, education, water resource management, disaster management, to name a few.

“As trusted partners and peace-loving nations, we have always worked together and supported each other to promote global peace and prosperity.”

The minister said the cooperation from Japan is “ever more crucial” for Bangladesh to graduate to a developing nation from the least developed countries bracket.

Salman F Rahman, the prime minister advisor for private industry and investment, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid and Air Chief Marshal Masihuzzaman Serniabat also attended the celebration organised by the Japanese embassy in Dhaka.