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Japan-Bangladesh E-Bulletin (9th issue / September 26, 2004)
- Making a Bridge between Japan and Bangladesh -


[ Table of Contents ]

[1] Message from Ambassador Horiguchi

"Using local innovations to ward off post-MFA backlash"

[2] Upcoming Events on Japan-Bangladesh Relations

* Workshop on Padma Bridge (Sep. 29, Dhaka)
* BAAS Quality and Productivity Seminar (Oct. 2, Dhaka)
* Annual Meeting of JICA Alumni Association (Oct. 8, Dhaka)
* Bangladesh Apparel Fair (Oct. 25-27, Tokyo)

[3] Recent Events on Japan-Bangladesh Relations

* Seven Youths Went to Japan by Invitation (Sep. 24-Oct. 5, Japan)
* Japan's Grant Aid for Water Examination System (Sep. 21, Dhaka)
* Concert by Ms. Satomi Kakizaki (Sep. 20, Dhaka)
* Ambassador Met the Prime Minister (Sep. 18, Dhaka)
* Japan's New Grant Aid for Flood Relief (Sep. 15, Dhaka)

[4] Information

* Solid Waste Management in Dhaka City & JICA
* The 59th Session of the UN General Assembly
* FCCJ Press Conference by Foreign Minister of Japan

[5] JBCCI Member Report

"My Experience of Doing Business with Japan
- A Brief Story of My Success - (Part 2)"
Mr. Abdul Haque, Vice-President, JBCCI
(Managing Director, Haq's Bay Automobiles Ltd.)


[1] Message from Ambassador Horiguchi
"Using local innovations to ward off post-MFA backlash"

A few weeks ago, I went to see a fashion show organized by the Chakma youths. The Chakma tribe is the largest minority race in Bangladesh, living mainly in Rangamati area of the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Most of them are Buddhists, and they strive to preserve their unique culture and lifestyles.

In the show, young Chakmas appeared as models, wearing native costumes, Western dresses, wedding attires, which were hand-woven from various colorful materials.

The characteristics of cloths made in Rangamati are very attractive. They come in vibrant colors and astonishing designs, but are markedly different from other Bangladeshi cloths and attires.

Bright color is also a hallmark of Bangladeshi paintings. It is probably reflective of the gentle, yet sometimes harsh climatic conditions of Bengal. I am sure that the apparels of Rangamati are
also influenced by the beautiful nature of Kaptai Lake or hills in Rangamati.

It goes without saying that textile is one of the key industries in Bangladesh. However, with the phasing out of the Multi Fiber Agreement (MFA) at the end of this year, Bangladeshi textile industry is likely to be affected by international competitions, especially with China.

Thus, the government of Bangladesh is taking various measures to increase its competitiveness, such as the improvement of the quality of cheap standardized cloths based on competitive labor force, shortening of delivery or lead time for export, and, to achieve this, big improvement of Chittagong port is being aimed at.

Along with these measures, the government also points out the importance of developing individual products. With this aim in view, it is very significant that young Bangladeshis make new cloths marked by their strong individualities, using their fertile color and
innovative sense.

The Chakmas were forced to move out of their habitats to facilitate construction of the Kaptai Hydroelectric Power Plant in the 1960s, and have suffered displacement from pressure of Bengali settlers. Therefore, it is remarkable that the fashion show came out well while young Chakmas reversed their difficult situations.

I felt Bangladesh would be a better place if all young Bangladeshis, following the example of young Chakmas, start one new business after another, like a high-class dress shop or an information technology company, using their innovations and talents.

(Ambassador's past messages are on the following website.)


[2] Upcoming Events on Japan-Bangladesh Relations

* Workshop on Padma Bridge (Sep. 29, Dhaka)

The Workshop organized by JICA Study Team on Progress Report-2 of the Feasibility Study of Padma Bridge will be held on September 29, 2004 at 9:15 am at Hotel Sonargaon, Dhaka. Ambassador Horiguchi will attend as the Guest of Honour.

* BAAS Quality and Productivity Seminar (Oct. 2, Dhaka)

Bangladesh AOTS (Association for Overseas Technical Scholarship) Alumni Society (BAAS) will organize a seminar on "Motivation for Improvement of Quality & Productivity" in cooperation with the World Network of Friendship (WNF) Fund of AOTS.

Seven experts (two from Bangladesh, one from Sri Lanka, and four from India, all of them being ex-trainees of AOTS) will conduct the seminar.

The opening ceremony of this two-day seminar will be held at the Multipurpose Hall of Bangladesh Institute of Administration and Management (BIAM) on October 2, 2004, at 9 am. Sixty people from industrial and fabric sectors will attend the seminar (unfortunately, fully booked). Ambassador Horiguchi will attend as the chief guest.

* Annual Meeting of JICA Alumni Association (Oct. 8, Dhaka)

Annual Meeting, Installation Ceremony, Cultural Function, and Annual Dinner of JICA Alumni Association, Bangladesh, will be held at Bangladesh Institute of Administration and Management (BIAM) Auditorium on October 8, 2004 at 6 pm.

H.E. Mr. Morshed Khan, Honourable Minister for Foreign Affairs, will be present as the chief guest. Ambassador Horiguchi will also attend as the special guest.

* Bangladesh Apparel Fair (Oct. 25-27, Tokyo )

The Bangladesh Apparel Fair will be held from October 25 to 27 at JETRO Invest Japan Business Support Center (IBSC) in Tokyo. This event is aimed at creating business opportunities in the apparel industries

between Bangladesh and Japan through meeting potential suppliers and buyers. There will be a seminar and a fashion show on October 25 at 3:30 am. Individual company booths will be arranged from October 26 to 27 for business negotiations.


[3] Recent Events on Japan-Bangladesh Relations

* Seven Youths Went to Japan by Invitation (Sep. 24-Oct. 5, Japan)

Seven young participants from universities, newspaper, news agency, research and business organizations and Shilpakala Academy of Bangladesh are visiting Japan under “2004 South Asian Youth Invitation Program”, sponsored by the Government of Japan from September 24 to October 5, 2004.

The send-off party for the participants was held at the residence of the Japanese Ambassador on September 19, 2004. The press release on this program with a picture is on the following website.

The following website shows the last year's program.

* Japan's Grant Aid for Water Examination System (Sep. 21, Dhaka)

On September 21, an Agreement on Japan's Grant Aid for Strengthening Water Examination System in Bangladesh, amounting to 495 million yen (approximately Taka 27.22 crore or US$ 4.5 million), was signed in Dhaka.

Ambassador Horiguchi and Mr. Mirza Tasadduq Hussain Beg, Secretary of the Economic Relations Division, signed the Exchange of Notes on behalf of the respective governments.

For more information, please visit the following website.

* Concert by Ms. Satomi Kakizaki (Sep. 20, Dhaka )

A concert of Japanese and other countries' songs by Ms. Satomi Kakizaki was held on September 20 at the Japanese School Auditorium.

About fifty people came to listen to her songs, including people from Aurora Group Workshop, handicapped people working in Sapporo, Hokkaido, and Center for Services and Information on Disability (CSID), which supports handicapped children to go to school in Bangladesh.

* Ambassador Met the Prime Minister (Sep. 18, Dhaka )

Ambassador Horiguchi met the Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia at her office on September 18. During an hour meeting, the Prime Minister expressed her gratitude to the people and the government of Japan for considering the suffering of the people of Bangladesh as their own.

Prime Minister Zia requested the Ambassador to promote Japan 's investment in this country.

* Japan's New Grant Aid for Flood Relief (Sep. 15, Dhaka)

Ambassador Horiguchi called on Honourable Minister for Food & Disaster Management H.E. Mr. Chowdhury Kamal Ibne Yusuf on September 15, 2004 to inform the newly committed grant aids of providing rice, disinfecting/repairing tubewells and setting up latrines, amounting to 653 million Japanese Yen (approximately Taka 35.26 crore or US$ 5.9 million) through WFP and UNICEF.

On September 20, UNICEF Representative in Bangladesh, Mr. Morten Giersing, visited to Ambassador Horiguchi and thanked the Japanese Government for the timely contribution.


[4] Information

* Solid Waste Management in Dhaka City & JICA

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) received a request from Dhaka City Corporation to conduct a Master Plan Study on Solid Waste Management (SWM) in Dhaka City. The JICA Team, together with DCC, started its work on December 2003 and will formulate a Master Plan by the end of March 2005.

For more details, please access the following website.

The JICA Team and DCC also issued two newsletters on May and August 2004. The newsletters are now available within the limits of stock. Please contact the Study Office if interested (02-7162350).

* The 59th Session of the UN General Assembly

The Prime Minister of Japan, Junichiro Koizumi addressed at the 59 th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, entitled "A New United Nations for the New Era" on 21 SEPTEMBER 2004

Following the UN General Assembly, the Prime Minister made a press conference.

* FCCJ Press Conference by Foreign Minister of Japan

Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, Yoriko Kawaguchi, attended the Press Conference by the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan on Sep. 16. The complete text of this conference is on the following website.


[5] JBCCI Member Report
"My Experience of Doing Business with Japan
- A Brief Story of My Success - (Part 2)"
Mr. Abdul Haque, Vice-President, JBCCI (Managing Director, Haq's Bay Automobiles Ltd.)

(Continued from the last issue.)
* Towards the launching of JBCCI

I had opportunities to travel to Japan leading Bangladesh delegation to the meetings of Japan Bangladesh Committee for Commercial and Economic Co-operation (JBCCEC), a committee of Japan & Tokyo Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) and G-BOC the Global Business
Opportunities Convention in Osaka organized by Osaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

Vis-à-vis my activities for JBCCEC, opportunities for coming across with government and business leaders came up. I could avail such rare opportunities during such exercises with Japanese high officials.

In so many meetings, conferences, and seminars that I participated, I was amazed at how the Japanese people try to help others for mutual benefit. One of my mentors Late Ahmed Safa, a writer and philosopher, suggested working for promoting Japan and Bangladesh ties, so that Bangladesh society can be benefited from the Japanese investment and assistance, etc.

Lastly, the recent launching of Japan Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce & Industry (JBCCI) with the help and support of Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) is a historical development.

* Learning from Japan

I traveled almost all parts of the world. But, in the nostalgia of my traveling experience, the memory of Japan is so brilliant in my mind that it has enlightening impacts accelerating in an endless manner.

My passion for life took a dramatic turn when I used to travel extensively inside Japan. The Japanese value system was really striking.

The manner of business etiquette, innovative strategy with high values for friendship, mutual respect, community development, a system of insularity and education for the nation as a whole with deliberate and compatible adoption of external influences, emphasis on harmony overwhelmed my passion for change even in my society.

Japan 's strategy for strong relation with big economies such as USA for trade and economic development meant realistic sense of values for change.

I always wanted to get into the depth of the evolution of the value system in Japan, and I found that the Japanese people respect their Emperor like a sacred person on the top. The Emperor is a symbol of unity in the Japanese society that reminds me of the nature of human beings to move in a united manner under a leadership in various nations, societies and clans.

Not only the beauty of the " Mount Fuji " but also the industrious nature of the people amazed me. The people of Japan are dedicated to their work with professional zeal, workmanship and perfectionism of commitment.

Gradually, I found myself to be a learner in Japanese society. I developed friendship with many in Japan. Their way of life, simplicity, commitment towards perfectionism attracted me. Industrialization from a feudal base was an amazing development in Japan.

The value system that developed over the centuries due to the rules of Emperors, particularly during the Meiji era, helped Japan to reach such high position. We need to learn something from this pattern of change. The Meiji period effected Japan 's great success in the post-war development. Without the creation of the industrial economy during the Meiji Japan, this economic growth could not have been possible.

Prior to that, during Tokugawa period, Japanese economy experienced unparalleled growth. The system was structured on rules and obligations for all sections of the society.

Continuously I am a learner; I love to learn the way of doing things. Japanese people take to work as a religion. I strongly believe as a self-made man whatever I am today has a big influence of Japanese culture and value system. From my business to family life, I try to lay emphasis on learning from the Japanese society and shall continue to do so.

I was amazed even while visiting Japanese cemeteries, which are so secluded and beautiful. I stayed for hours at those cemeteries, which are expressions of excellence of aesthetic senses.

The value system of Japan developed bondage in the Japanese society as a much-needed factor for productivity. The productivity helped Japan to develop into a super-developed economy despite shortage of natural resources.

Every time in my thought process, Japanese value system worked as a factor of change not only for me but also for my people. Bangladesh, a country almost of equal population though Japan is 2.8 times bigger in terms of area, should be able to be developed due to the high density of labour and fortitude of the people.

The process of agro-based development of Japan has many teachings for Bangladesh. The high quality crops of Japanese farmland as well as the innovative seed preservation systems have many lessons for us.

Particularly, the art of construction without damaging the nature is of particular importance. I consider the radical change, which took place in Japan in 20th century, is something for which the whole Asia can feel proud.

As a token of my humble gesture to the great nation of Japan, I have named my first child " NIPPON ".

(Japan-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JBCCI) Website)

(Haq's Bay Automobiles Website)


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