The number of Japanese companies operating in Bangladesh has increased around four times in 10 years as the government ensured better business climate for the foreign investors in the country.
A total of 321 Japanese firms are currently running their businesses in the country which was 83 in 2010, as per the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO).
Talking to BSS, JETRO Country Representative Yuji Ando said Bangladesh is one of the major destinations for Japanese entrepreneurs and they are investing in different fields, including ready-made garments (RMG), textile, IT and infrastructure taking the advantage of competitive human resource and huge domestic market.
He informed that after the visit of the then Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Bangladesh in 2014, the number of Japanese inventors is increasing day by day.
Now, the Japanese business community has started to pay attention to Bangladesh as the destination of investment, he added.
He said many Japanese infrastructure development companies are coming to Bangladesh for working at the Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA) projects, including Matarbari Deep Sea Port.
Due to the upward trend of Bangladesh's per-capita income and increasing the domestic demand, he said many Japanese entrepreneurs are expanding their businesses in different fields, including electric and consumer products, of the country.
Japanese entrepreneurs are also showing their keenness to invest in the country's manufacturing, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), infrastructure development and tech and digital based startup companies, he added.
He said Japanese firms are also investing in different projects under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) method.
However, the JETRO country representative mentioned that there are many challenges which still exist for Japanese companies and for other foreign companies in Bangladesh, citing examples of infrastructure and taxation.
He urged the authorities concerned to ensure smooth services in tax and VAT systems, foreign loans for working capital from parent company and easy registration process.
He said Japan has been significantly contributing to Bangladesh's socio-economic development since its independence with the trading relationship getting stronger and productive day by day.
To attract more Japanese investment, it is crucial that Bangladesh prioritizes issues such as corporate governance and a more investment friendly environment, he opined.
Japan and Bangladesh have maintained friendly relations since February 10th, 1972, through economic and technical cooperation, cultural exchanges and mutual visits. Japan is a major development partner for Bangladesh, extending support to the efforts of Bangladesh for its economic and social development.