Tokyo, May 30: Japan announced 132.6 billion yen ($1.2 billion) in aid to Bangladesh that will go toward economic development, a high-speed railway and other projects.
The assistance, announced on Wednesday during a visit by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, also will go to Japanese companies doing business in Bangladesh and will support efforts to boost energy efficiency throughout Bangladesh, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Hasina, who is beginning a third consecutive five-year term, expressed thanks to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe following a signing ceremony at his official residence in Tokyo, reported Japan Today.
Promoting trade between Japan and Bangladesh is important for both sides, with Bangladesh importing mostly steel, autos and machinery from Japan, and Japan importing clothing products and jute. Japanese imports from Bangladesh have quadrupled compared to 2009 levels. Japanese companies setting up shop in Bangladesh are also growing, mostly in textiles and manufacturing.
Japan has been wary of what it sees as security and economic threats from neighbouring China and has been courting other nations in Asia as well as the US and Europe. This week alone, Abe is meeting with leaders of the Philippines, Cambodia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore and Laos in addition to Bangladesh. He just finished hosting a four-day visit by US President Donald Trump, which ended on Tuesday.