Japan-aided projects amount to $1.7 billion
Renowned economist Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya has described Japan as a strong development partner in delivering Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Bangladesh.
He was delivering a lecture in Tokyo on Friday, on 'Four Years of SDGs in Bangladesh', organized by the Japan Society of International Development (JASID), Japan Civil Network on SDGs, Japan-Bangladesh Society, and the University of the Sacred Hearts.
Professor Tatsufumi Yamagata, president of JASID chaired the lecture session, attended by government officials, civil society leaders, private sector representatives, academics, and students.
Bangladesh experts in Japan, including former ambassador Matushiro Horiguchi, Professor Maaski Ohashi of Shapla Neer, Dr Mayumi Murayama of Institute of Development Economies (IDE), JETRO, and Chika Murakami of Bangla Service of NHK took part in the discussion.
While sharing his experience, Debapriya said, though having financial resource challenges, Bangladesh is delivering SDGs, and heading with national plans and programs with efforts to provide ministry-level leadership, and localized SDGs implementation.
Dr Debapriya pointed out that Japan had been a steady international development partner of Bangladesh, and the single largest source of bilateral foreign aid.
The ongoing Japan-aided projects amount to $1.7 billion, in the areas of Matarbari coal and port projects, two routes of Mass Rapid Transit, and preventing non-communicable diseases, will strengthen implementation of SDGs in Bangladesh.
He, however, pointed out that economic cooperation between Bangladesh, and Japan is underperforming.
The share of Japan in foreign direct investments in Bangladesh is less than 4%, and the share of exports from Bangladesh to Japan is less than 3%.
If economic cooperation with Japan is strengthened, delivery of SDGs in the country will accelerate, said Dr Debapriya.