Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Ito Naoki said his country would invest heavily in the Araihazar special economic zone, which will be the largest investment in Asia.
"Japan was thinking of setting up an automobile factory in Bangladesh," the ambassador said during a meeting with Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi on Thursday.
Ito Naoki said that Japan has taken steps to increase trade and investment with Bangladesh, read a press release issued by the commerce ministry.
"Even after the graduation of Bangladesh from a least developed country in 2024, Japan is thinking of continuing the trade facilities given to the country."
He said for this, a free trade agreement (FTA) or a preferential trade agreement (PTA) can be done between the two countries.
"Japanese businessmen are keen to increase trade with Bangladesh."
He said a joint work group could be formed to increase trade and investment between the two countries.
"There is a massive demand for skilled workers in Japan. Bangladesh can take this opportunity."
The ambassador said Bangladesh is moving fast under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
In the meeting at his office in Dhaka on Thursday, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said Bangladesh has a long-standing friendly trade and economic relations with Japan, added the press release.
"Japan is a big partner in the development of Bangladesh. Bangladesh has a lot of opportunities to increase its exports to Japan. Bangladesh wants to take advantage of this opportunity."
The minister said Bangladesh's exports to Japan will increase if more trade facilities are provided for the export of readymade garments.
Mentioning that Bangladesh will graduate to a middle-income country from a least developed country in 2024, Tipu Munshi called for the continuation of five-year trade facility after the graduation.
He said 100 special economic zones are being set up in the country under the directives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
"Japan will benefit if it invests in the economic zones. Bangladesh has announced a package to provide attractive investment opportunities here."
He said Bangladesh is a big market for Japanese made cars. "It would be profitable for Japan to set up a car factory in Bangladesh."
Bangladesh exported goods worth $1,365.74 million to Japan in the 2018-2019 fiscal year, and $1,200.78 million in 2019-20 fiscal year.
Similarly, Bangladesh imported goods worth $1,852.50 million from Japan in FY 2018-2019 and $1,294.91 million in July-May of FY 2019-20.
Commerce Secretary Md Jafar Uddin and Additional Secretary (Export) of the Commerce Ministry Mohammad Obaidul Azam were present on the occasion.