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Dhaka Tribune

Political violence spooks Japanese investors

Update : 29 Jul 2017, 04:30 PM
The Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh, Shiro Sadoshima, has expressed deep concern over the country’s ongoing political confrontations. Adding that Japanese business delegations were shying away from Bangladesh as a destination as a result. A top-level business team from Japan came to Dhaka last month but left immediately after a bomb exploded in front of their hotel, he said. Shiro Sadoshima made the remarks yesterday at a programme organised by the Diplomatic Correspondent Association, Bangladesh at the National Press Club in the city. The envoy said the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) team comprised of representatives from Toyota, Sony, Canon, Ricoh and other companies were scared by the explosions and left the country immediately. He urged the Political leaders to resolve the crisis through dialogue. “Please, come, sit and talk on whatever political issues you confront,” Shiro Sadoshima said. The ambassador added that the opportunity cost of political instability in the country is much higher now. Sadoshima came to Bangladesh as an ambassador one and half years ago with clear instructions from Tokyo to expand trade and investment with Dhaka. He said he is utterly frustrated at the current political situation in the country. “But I am not pessimistic. People are scared. A Japanese senate delegation also cancelled its trip due to hartals last month. But the people of Bangladesh [have] faced many problems and [have] overcome them,” he said. The impact of the disorder was much smaller when the size of the economy was also smaller, but now the country has achieved a lot, he said. “We don’t like to see those achievements be undermined because Japan is also a partner of the successes,” he added. Japan is the biggest bilateral donor for Bangladesh since 1972. Padma Bridge About funding for Padma Bridge, the ambassador said Japan is not taking part in financing the Padma bridge project. “We have refocused on the areas where we can invest,” he said, adding, “We are trying hard to retain the position of a biggest donor.” Honda Investment Shiro Sadoshima said Japanese auto manufacturer, Honda is ready to invest in Bangladesh. “If the company finds a suitable position, it will stay here as long as possible,” he said. It is the nature of Japanese companies to invest with a long-term perspective, he added. Many Japanese companies want to outsource operations abroad and Bangladesh should carefully formulate its future strategies in order to attract them, the envoy said. “We are ready to help Bangladesh in formulating their future strategies,” stated ambassador Sadoshima.


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