Japan to Sign EPA with Bangladesh, Increase Economic Ties

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura

Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura met with Bangladeshi economy-related ministers and agreed to accelerate a joint study for signing a bilateral economic partnership agreement (EPA) during his visit to the country on Sunday. It is the first time that a sitting Japanese economy, trade and industry minister has made an official visit to Bangladesh.

Nishimura met with Bangladeshi Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi and Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun, and they agreed on the need to strengthen economic relations between Japan and Bangladesh. The two countries made a pact to conduct a joint study for signing an EPA in December last year.

The ministers also signed a memorandum which states that the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) will cooperate with Bangladesh’s planned trade policies.

In addition, Nishimura proposed Japan’s cooperation for the utilization of liquefied natural gas in Bangladesh.

At an online press conference, Nishimura said, “The average age of the population of Bangladesh is 24, and the country’s economic growth is remarkable. I want to upgrade our relationship from focusing on aid [from Japan] to focusing on trade and investments.”

Nishimura has been touring India and Bangladesh since Wednesday. While in India, he signed a memorandum stating that Japan and the country will cooperate on strengthening supply chains of semiconductor products.