The Outcome Of The Official Visit Of The Prime Minister Of The People's Republic Of Bangladesh To Japan
Japan - Bangladesh Comprehensive Partnership
26 May 2014
H.E. Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, is on her official visit to Japan from 25th to 28th May 2014, at the invitation of the Prime Minister of Japan. During the visit, H. E. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan had a summit meeting with Prime Minister Hasina on 26th May. Recognizing that the long-standing relations between the two countries based on shared values of peace, democracy, human rights and rule of law, the two Prime Ministers affirmed their commitment to further strengthen bilateral cooperation by elevating the friendly relationship to a new partnership. The two Prime Ministers thus launched the ‘Japan – Bangladesh Comprehensive Partnership’. Both the Prime Ministers also decided to detail the modalities at the earliest.
Ⅰ. Cooperation towards attaining global peace and stability
1. The two Prime Ministers decided that Japan and Bangladesh would strengthen policy dialogue so as to deepen their cooperation in the context of evolving global security environment. In this connection, the two Prime Ministers endorsed the launch of the bilateral Foreign Secretary level dialogue and hoped for deepening of bilateral policy dialogue and cooperation.
2. Prime Minister Hasina welcomed Japan’s increasing efforts to contribute actively in securing regional and global peace, stability and prosperity; and expressed her support and appreciation for Japan’s policy of “Proactive Contribution to Peace” based on the principle of international cooperation. Prime Minister Abe conveyed his deep appreciation for the expression of support.
3. Prime Minister Abe apprised Prime Minister Hasina of the situation in the South China Sea. The two Prime Ministers underscored the importance of the freedom of navigation and shared the view that international disputes and issues should be resolved peacefully and all relevant countries should adhere to relevant international law as well as globally agreed norms and practices. The two Prime Ministers also underscored the importance of the freedom of overflight over the high seas and civil aviation safety, in accordance with the principles of international law and the relevant standards and recommended practices of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
4. The two Prime Ministers affirmed the importance of integrated approaches to protection, promotion and development of marine natural resources and all marine sectors in the adjoining oceans and seas, in accordance with international law. They also shared the intention to deepen cooperation on creating sustainable employment for the benefit of the peoples of the two countries from the perspectives of ocean-based economy, including through sustainable fisheries and exploration and development of marine resources, renewable energy, oceanographic research, shipping and tourism. In that context, Prime Minister Hasina invited Japan at the Expert Group Meeting on Blue Economy (in Dhaka, in September 2014).
5. Prime Minister Abe praised Bangladesh’s contribution to peacekeeping and peace-building efforts. The two Prime Ministers affirmed that bilateral and multilateral cooperation in this field would further deepen. Prime Minister Abe expressed his intention to share Japan’s experience, including dispatching experts for the proposed project of establishing a Peace Building Center in Bangladesh. Prime Minister Abe also offered assistance to strengthen cooperation, particularly in the field of peacekeeping and peacebuilding training. Prime Minister Hasina expressed her deep appreciation for the support and cooperation.
6. The two Prime Ministers shared the importance of an early reform of the United Nations Security Council so as to reflect contemporary geo-political realities. Prime Minister Hasina reaffirmed Bangladesh’s support for Japan’s aspiration to become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.
7. The two Prime Ministers shared the concern of the international community over the DPRK’s continued development of nuclear and missile programs, including ballistic missile launches conducted by the DPRK in March 2014. They strongly urged the DPRK to fully comply with its obligations under all the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions and its commitments under the 2005 Six-Party Talks Joint Statement. They strongly urged the DPRK to address humanitarian concerns of the international community, including the abductions issue.
Ⅱ. Economic cooperation towards promotion of mutual interest and regional prosperity
8. The two Prime Ministers shared their determination to accelerate economic development and poverty reduction in Bangladesh. In this regard, the two Prime Ministers welcomed the signing of the Exchange of Notes concerning the 35th yen loan package projects totaling 120 billion yen which was pledged by Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida during his visit to Bangladesh in March 2014.
9. The two Prime Ministers shared their intention to discuss and promote wider regional development, including fostering regional connectivity, developing economic infrastructure for industrial growth and improving investment environment to attract foreign businesses, including from Japan, while enhancing social development contributing to the improvement of lives and livelihoods of people. In this context, Prime Minister Abe announced his commitment to provide up to 600 billion Yen of additional assistance, mainly Yen loans, including the 35th yen loan package totaling 120 billion Yen, to Bangladesh in about 4 or 5 years from 2014, taking fully into account the proper and smooth implementation of projects. Prime Minister Hasina expressed her high expectation of further consideration of a range of specific projects inter alia in regard to construction of Ganges Barrage, multi-modal tunnel under river Jamuna, dedicated Railway Bridge over river Jamuna, multi-modal Dhaka Eastern Bypass, ecological restoration of four rivers around Dhaka. The two Prime Ministers decided to strengthen policy dialogue in carrying out cooperation for development. The two countries shared their intention to closely collaborate and cooperate in project formulation and implementation. Prime Minister Hasina welcomed the proposal of Prime Minister Abe on dispatch of a mission to identify and discuss with the Bangladeshi side details of economic cooperation in this regard.
10. The two Prime Ministers recognized the importance for Bangladesh to strengthen the capability to face various challenges in the areas of climate change and disaster risk reduction. In this regard, Prime Minister Abe explained Japan’s “cooperation package in the areas of climate change and disaster risk reduction” for Bangladesh which includes cooperation of adaptation, disaster risk reduction, mitigation and Bilateral Offset Credit Mechanism. Prime Minister Hasina expressed her appreciation for Japan’s strong support in this area. In that regard, Prime Minister Hasina underlined the need for development and transfer of relevant technologies, including relevant to agriculture, in meeting the challenges faced by Bangladesh. Prime Minister Hasina also appreciated Japan’s hosting the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (Sendai, Japan, March 2015). The two Prime Ministers also recognized the importance of utilizing highly efficient coal-fired generation technology in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In that context, Prime Minister Hasina appreciated highly efficient and environment-friendly technology of Japan and underlined the need for those to be made available to the countries in need.
11. The two Prime Ministers expressed their high expectation for the expansion of overall bilateral economic relations. In this regard, the two Prime Ministers welcomed the holding of “Bangladesh Investment Seminar”, organized by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and Japan Bangladesh Committee for Commercial and Economic Cooperation on 27th May 2014, and the launch of “Joint Bangladesh–Japan Public–Private Economic Dialogue” headed by respective high ranking government officials and with participation of representatives from private sector of the two countries. Prime Minister Abe expressed his decision to instruct relevant ministries to start reviewing rules of origin of Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) for knitted articles (Chapter 61 of the HS), taking into account the strengthening of economic relationship between Japan and Bangladesh. Prime Minister Hasina appreciated his decision. The two Prime Ministers also shared their intention to consider how the two countries would further expand bilateral trade.
12. Prime Minister Abe underscored the urgency of an improvement of investment environment in Bangladesh, including infrastructure development, stable energy supply, development of industrial park(s) and accelerated processing of permits, licenses, etc. in order to further facilitate and promote Japanese investment in Bangladesh. Prime Minister Hasina acknowledged the issues raised and assured of taking necessary measures to facilitate accelerated realization of the Japanese investments in Bangladesh. The two Prime Ministers expressed their expectation for the enhancement of Japanese companies’ greater presence in Bangladesh through “Japan Fair” which would introduce Japan’s technology by JETRO, establishment of SME Overseas Business Support Platform and dispatch of SME mission. The two Prime Ministers also welcomed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between JETRO and Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) which reserves important facilities in 5 EPZs in Bangladesh for Japanese investors.
13. The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed the importance of strengthening energy cooperation, including in the area of peaceful uses of nuclear energy as stable energy supply is the key to economic development in Bangladesh. In this regard, the two Prime Ministers welcomed the seminar on peaceful uses of nuclear energy and nuclear non-proliferation organized by the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) and the Integrated Support Center for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Nuclear Safety (ISCN) of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) to be held in June. Prime Minister Hasina sought Japan’s cooperation for capacity building in nuclear safety and security. In this regard, the two Prime Ministers decided to launch a new dialogue between experts on peaceful and safe uses of nuclear energy in Bangladesh in which Japan will share the experience and lessons learned from the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. Prime Minister Hasina also expressed her hope that Japan would examine the possibility to cooperate with Bangladesh for a nuclear power plant project in future.
14. The two Prime Ministers emphasized that an introduction of Japan’s high level medical expertise and technology will contribute greatly to the development of medical and health sector in Bangladesh. In this connection, the two Prime Ministers welcomed the dispatch of medical inspection mission from Bangladesh to Japan in this August. Prime Minister Abe expressed his commitment to Japan’s continued cooperation for Bangladeshi medical human resource development including accepting Bangladeshi young doctors under Japanese Government Scholarship to receive Advanced Clinical Training in Japan and to obtain medical PhD. Prime Minister Hasina expressed her intention to review relevant laws and systems in Bangladesh in order to equalize Japan’s medical PhD with appropriate clinical training in a prompt manner including addition of all relevant medical departments of Japanese universities to the relevant Schedule of Medical and Dental Council Act, 2010 of Bangladesh. The two Prime Ministers also welcomed cooperation between medical professionals of both countries, such as a plan to build a hospital introducing Japanese medical technologies, establishment of an ultrasound training center and a medical seminar with a view to improving the medical environment in Bangladesh.
15. The two Prime Ministers welcomed that the Information Technology Engineers Examination (ITEE) will be introduced in Bangladesh through the technical cooperation of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Information-Technology Promotion Agency (IPA) by the end of October 2014. The two Prime Ministers expressed their expectation for the development on Information Technology and related industry in Bangladesh with thesupport of the government and involvement of the private sector including through the introduction of ITEE.
Ⅲ. Promotion of cultural and people to people exchange
16. The two Prime Ministers noted that people-to-people interaction and exchanges and cultural exchanges between the two countries should be broadened further. In this regard, Prime Minister Abe mentioned that positive consideration would be given to the request to expand the number of Bangladeshi government officials in the Japanese Grant Aid Project for Human Resource Development Scholarship (JDS). Prime Minister Abe also agreed to increase the number of scholarships to Bangladesh students studying in Japan under the Japanese Government Scholarship. Prime Minister Hasina expressed her appreciation for the offers made.
17. The two Prime Ministers discussed introduction of reciprocal visa exemption measures for the holders of diplomatic passport. In order to broaden the scope of the reciprocal arrangements, particularly to facilitate engagement of officials of both the Governments, the two Prime Ministers also decided to consider introducing a relaxation of visa requirement for the holders of diplomatic and official passport of Bangladesh and Japan.
18. Prime Minister Abe presented Japan’s initiative of “Sport for Tomorrow”, which includes international sports exchanges, and expressed his intention to invite Bangladesh’s national football team coaches to the Japan Football Association’s coaching program.
19. Prime Minister Abe explained his policy to create “a society where all women shine” that he announced in United Nations General Assembly in September 2013. Prime Minister Hasina welcomed his initiative to promote international cooperation for gender equality and women empowerment. Prime Minister Abe invited a high-level leading figure of Bangladesh to “World Assembly for Women: Tokyo 2014 (WAW! Tokyo) ” which will be held in September 2014 in Japan. Prime Minister Hasina welcomed the invitation.
20. The two Prime Ministers underlined that the mutual understanding between the peoples of Japan and Bangladesh should be deepened further in various fields. In this regard, Prime Minister Abe emphasized the importance to promote cultural exchange and Japanese language education in Bangladesh. Prime Minister Hasina appreciated the ideas; and, as a gesture and symbol of friendship to the people of Japan, expressed her intention to transfer a pair of Royal Bengal Tigers to Japan so that Japanese people, especially school children, can experience nature and culture of Bangladesh. Prime Minister Abe expressed his deep gratitude for the offer, and hoped that relevant authorities of the two countries would work out specifics relating to the transfer.
21. Prime Minister Hasina extended her invitation to Prime Minister Abe to visit Bangladesh as soon as possible at a mutually convenient time. Prime Minister Abe accepted the invitation with deep appreciation and looks forward to visiting Bangladesh at the earliest.