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A Task Force Formed to Expedite New Japanese Investment

On November 18, 2012, Japanese Ambassador H.E. Mr. Shiro Sadoshima participated in the first meeting of a "Task Force", which is chaired by Dr. M. A. Samad, Executive Chairman, BOI, to tackle with some common challenges for Japanese investors to Bangladesh. In this meeting, representatives from concerned Ministries and Governmental organizations, including Mr. Mohammad Abul Kashem, Acting Chairman, Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA,) Mr. Shafiqul Islam, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Home, Mr. Mizanur Rahman Joddar, General Manager, Bangladesh Bank, and Mr. Md. Nurul Haque, General Manager, BEPZA were present. From the business community, Mr. Rashed Ahmed Ali, President, Japan-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry were also present.

This "Task Force" is formed by an initiative of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for the purpose of eliminating impediments for Japanese investors to Bangladesh to further enhance business relations between the two friendly countries. Japanese business community has earlier submitted to the Government a list of common areas where improvement is needed to ease doing business in Bangladesh for both Japanese and Bangladeshi business. This Task Force is expected to further promote establishing better environment for Japanese investors.

In the meeting, H.E. Mr. Sadoshima pointed out the importance of focusing on some priority issues to have visible results, and suggested to start from tackling with issue of visa and work permit, then financial regulations issue.

On visa and work permit issue, it was agreed to prolong the visa expiry date for investors and their family members. The investors will be initially given one-year visa, then if there is no problem during the term, the visa will be extended for another four years. The related government agencies will take necessary action from their respective ends.

On financial regulation issue, H.E. Mr. Sadoshima stressed the importance of appropriate implementation of L/C, deregulation regarding money transfer settlement, and proper shipment of B/L, which are indispensable for promoting Japanese investment.

The participants agreed to meet again in about a month time to continue discussions on other related issues.
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