She further said the friendship between the two countries was tested during the Holey Artisan Bakery attack in Dhaka in 2016, which led to the tragic death of seven Japanese nationals
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said she wishes to transform Bangladesh into another Japan, as did her father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
In an article written by the Bangladesh prime minister and published by The Japan Times on Tuesday, ahead of her meeting with Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe on Wednesday, Sheikh Hasina said: “Japan was always close to my heart. This was passed on to me from my father. I share his aspiration to transform Bangladesh.
“Let the new era bring us closer, strengthen our connections, and help us build a safe and prosperous world for our children," she added, reports UNB.
The prime minister also said she has had a fascination with Japan since her childhood, and used to collect Japanese art, calendars, stamps, and dolls, among other things.
In the article, titled “Japan-Bangladesh partnership for development,” she further said the friendship between the two countries was tested during the Holey Artisan Bakery attack in Dhaka in 2016, which led to the tragic death of seven Japanese nationals.
“It was during that moment of national anguish and mourning that yet again, the Japanese people and government stood by us and reassured us of Japan's continued support for Bangladesh's development. Japan and Bangladesh are resolved to fight terrorism and extremism together," Sheikh Hasina said.
She also mentioned that Bangladesh and Japan would celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 2022.
“I am confident that with our shared values and commitment to promoting peace and development, we shall ensure prosperity for our peoples,” Sheikh Hasina added.
The prime minister said Bangladesh offers the most liberal and congenial investment atmosphere in South Asia. “We welcome foreign private investment in almost all sectors of the economy, with no restriction on the amount of investment.”
She also mentioned that foreign investors are eligible for a wide range of generous tax concessions and other fiscal incentives.
“We have bilateral investment treaties with 32 countries, and Avoidance of Double Taxation treaties with 28 countries, including Japan,” she added.
"We have approved the Delta Plan 2100 with the vision of ensuring long-term water and food security, economic growth and environmental sustainability. In its implementation, Agenda 2030, Vision 2041 and 2071 are our milestones in different development initiatives," the prime minister said, stressing Bangladesh’s ongoing transformation from an agricultural economy to a service and manufacturing centric economy.
Some of the transformational projects initiated by the current government that are now visible include Padma Bridge, the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant, High-tech Park and ICT Parks, she said.
Massive infrastructural development has been initiated to ensure a multimodal transport system, safeguard energy and food security, maintain regional balance, and ultimately improve standards of living, the prime minister added.
"We believe our time-tested friend Japan and its people will be with us on our transformative journey to development and prosperity," Sheikh Hasina said.