Construction of Matarbari deep sea port to be completed by 2026

Japan plans to complete the construction of the Matarbari deep seaport by 2026, a senior Japanese foreign ministry official told FE.

The deep water port of Matarbari is considered a game changer for the regional economy.

The survey for the port was completed in 2018 and the loan agreement was signed in 2019, said Iwamoto Keiichi, deputy director general of the Southeast and Southwest Asian affairs department of the Japanese ministry. Foreign Affairs.

According to the schedule, construction of the port will be completed by 2026, and Japan is confident to meet the deadline, he said.

Mr. Iwamoto also pointed out that in accordance with the decisions made by the two leaders – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abbey – during the latter’s visit to Dhaka, Japan is committed to expanding cooperation in several sectors.

“These sectors are; transportation improvement, stable energy supply, spatial economic zone development and private sector development.

Mr. Iwamoto mentioned that major projects like the MRT, the deep water port, the railway bridge over the Jamuna River and the cross-border road network are funded by the Japanese government.

Responding to a question, Mr. Iwamoto said that Bangladesh’s dependence on a single sector like textiles is a vulnerability for its export basket.

He suggested diversification of Bangladesh’s export basket.

Meeting the challenge of filling the country’s dwindling gas reserves is crucial for its economy, he noted.

He also said improving basic infrastructure such as roads and ports is also crucial to attract foreign investors.

In this regard, he mentioned that in the area of ​​customs, Bangladesh needs to do more reforms as many investors and businessmen are facing problems with the existing customs procedure of Bangladesh.

Mr. Iwamoto said bilateral trade between Japan and Bangladesh is growing although there is a small deficit for Bangladesh.

Bangladesh can compensate for this shortcoming by improving its export basket.

He mentioned that last year, Bangladesh’s imports from Japan amounted to $1.8 billion, while Bangladesh’s exports to Japan amounted to $1.2 billion.

Responding to another question, Mr. Iwamoto said that a number of Japanese companies were considering relocating from China to other South Asian countries and that Bangladesh could take the opportunity if it still could. improve its investment climate.

He mentioned that the abundant cheap labor in Bangladesh is a strength of the country.

However, he pointed out that Japanese companies that have already relocated their factories from China have found their destination mainly in Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia.

Responding to another question, Mr. Iwamoto said that under the Indo-Pacific strategy, Japan does not intend to provide an economic package, but friendly countries like Bangladesh receive aid from Japan in various sectors since its inception.

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