Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman laid the rock-solid foundation of Bangladesh-Japan relations in 1973 when he along with his younger daughter Sheikh Hasina had visited the country.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen came up with the remark while addressing a webinar styled "Bangabandhu and Bangladesh."
Japan Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industries and Department of Japan Studies of Dhaka University have jointly arranged the webinar.
"Bangabandhu laid the rock-solid foundation of Bangladesh-Japan relations from which we all benefit today. This has thus far been a very enlightening and stimulating discourse," he told the participants.
Bangabandhu visited Japan from 18-24 October 1973. He was accompanied by his younger daughter Sheikh Rehana and youngest son Sheikh Russel. It was during this visit he laid the rock-solid foundation of Bangladesh-Japan relations.
At the official talks between prime ministers of the two countries, it was agreed that Japan would extend cooperation in agriculture for Bangladesh to attain self-sufficiency in food production. The two countries would have exchanges to enhance trade and other economic relations.
Bangabandhu also secured grant of rice under food aid and commodity loan of nine billion yen on the soft terms. In addition, Japan decided to contribute one million US dollars to assist the repatriation of the refugees from India.
Thus began a partnership which has only grown from strength to strength over the years and now we enjoy a comprehensive partnership which has laid bare a vista of opportunities for the business people of the two countries, he added.
Foreign Minister also mentioned Japan's involvement in different mega projects of Bangladesh. He in particular described Bangabandhu Bridge as a hallmark of friendship between Bangladesh and Japan.
HE also noted that the two governments have retained the legacy of intimate-cooperation in different sectors.
Bangladesh is now implementing a number of mega-projects for connectivity and power generation.
"We are engaged in Public-Private Economic Dialogue for strengthening business and investment ties. A special Export Processing Zone is being set up in Araihazar for the Japanese investors," said the minister.
Dr AK Abdul Momen further stated, "We intend to conclude a Free Trade Agreement with Japan. These will create enormous scope for private sectors of the two countries to engage in trade and investment for mutual benefit."
He called upon the members of the JBCCI to take advantage of these new opportunities and make a head-start to maximize benefits.