Function of the Wing

The Commercial Wing primarily extends cooperation to the prospective importers and investors in following manner:
♦ Matters relating to trade including export promotion, trade creation, trade expansion and facilitation of imports from Bangladesh to Japan
♦ Helps in resolution of trade disputes
♦ Matters relating to imports from Japan
♦ Provides information and assists Bangladeshi companies to participation in trade fairs, bazzars, etc.
♦ Support sales promotion activities in various departmental stores and elsewhere
♦ All investment matters
♦ Transmission of information to the customs and other concerned authorities in Bangladesh
♦ Replies of trade enquires
♦ Acknowledging Bangladesh/Japan Governments rules and regulations those realties to trade and invest.

Bangladesh- Japan Trade & Investment Scenario

Bangladesh and Japan share historical bondage of partnership & collaboration. Bilateral relation between the two friendly countries is at the peak of engagements in recent times with the visit of honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2016 and visits of two honourable Prime Ministers in 2014. These successive visits indeed ushered in a new horizon with the initiation of a Comprehensive Partnership. This new era of cooperation is leading the countries to the next stage of partnership with increased investment in quality infrastructures and helping Bangladesh being incorporated into global value chain system. It is high time for the two countries to strengthen the existing relationship for further exploring all possible business opportunities.

Bilateral Trade Relations between Bangladesh and Japan

Japan is a major trading partner and important source of foreign direct investment for Bangladesh. Although the volume of bilateral trade and investment is yet to reach its full potentials, joint and new efforts may substantially raise the level for mutual gains. Bangladesh is pursuing liberal investment policies through investment support services. It offers lucrative incentives, large market, competitive &inexpensive workforce and quality export products for Japan. The huge emerging middle class with the enviable demographic dividend along with a new arrangement of regional connectivity in South Asia will surely add to its future prosperity.
Export to Japan has surpassed 1 billion dollar mark in 2015 for the first time. Japan was Bangladesh’s 11th-largest export market in 2014-15 with 2.93% of exports; the amount of two-way trade crossed the $2 billion mark in 2014. During the period of July-March of 2015-16 fiscal year Japan has been augmented to the 7th-largest export destination. Export to Japan has increased by 7.5 times in between 2004-2005 and 2014-15.
Export from Bangladesh to Japan in fiscal year 2010 expanded by 60% compared to the previous fiscal year. In response to requests from Bangladesh, Japan relaxed rules of origin of Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) in April 2011. As a result, an increase in export from Bangladesh to Japan was observed. Apparel Export to Japan has increased by approx. 20 times in the past 5 years. Rules of origin were relaxed from two stages to single stage on 01 April 2015 making it even easier for the export of the knit Apparel.

Exports from Bangladesh to Japan have been increasing steadily. However our export to
Japan has not yet achieved cherished goal compared to our import from Japan.
At a glance Trade balance of Bangladesh and Japan are as follows:

Export basket to Japan

Common exports from Bangladesh to Japan include leather goods, ready-made garments, and shrimp.

Share to Japanese Import & Share to Total Export

Expanding to Japan: Looking East

Bangladeshi business houses are actively exploring Japan as a potential niche market and engaging seriously to establish their foot prints in the land of the rising sun. Bangladesh is actively participating in Trade fairs, Tourism Expo, IT Week and also organizing Investment Seminars, Business Seminars, B2B Meetings, Promotional Programs, etc. to strengthen their business ties with Japanese counterparts.
Besides traditional forte of woven & knit apparels, Footwear & leather products are having an impact in the quality conscious Japanese consumer world. IT services having similar business model of RMG has all the promises to be the next big sector in Japan.

Japanese Investment Trend

While the global inward FDI was $1.4 trillion, in South Asia was $35.3 billion and even Myanmar received $2.6 billion in FDI, Bangladesh could attract only $1.6 billion in 2013.

The number of Japanese companies that have invested in Bangladesh has risen to about 230 as of 2015. The number increased from 183 in 2014 (JETRO). In China there are 30000 Japanese companies. Bangladesh is an untapped market for Japanese investors. Mere $95.71 million was invested in 2014 by Japanese investors. Since independence the total Japanese investment in Bangladesh till 2014 is 1348 million dollars.

On the contrary the latest JETRO survey reports that Bangladesh is an attractive destination for Japanese companies to do business due to its lower production cost and labour wage compared to others. Business confidence of the Japanese CEOs ranks the highest for Bangladesh.

It is high time for Japanese investors to explore and capitalize on the strategic location, advantageous connectivity and demographic dividend of this emerging economy of promise & potentials. A quick establishment of Special Economic Zone for the Japanese investors can play an important role in this regard.

Second Japan-Bangladesh Public Private Joint Economic Dialogue

A high level Public-Private delegation led by Principal Secretary of Prime Minister’s Office Mr. Md. Abul Kalam Azad represented Bangladesh in the Second Japan-Bangladesh Public Private Joint Economic Dialogue held at the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade & Industry in Tokyo on 15 April, 2016. The Japanese side was led by Mr. Takayuki Ueda, Vice Minister for International Affairs of METI. It included senior officials of METI, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, JICA & JETRO. Mr. Teruo Asada, Chairman of the Japan-Bangladesh Committee for Commercial and Economic Cooperation led the Japanese private sector while Mr. Abdul Matlub Ahmad, President of FBCCI led the Bangladeshi side. The dialogue discussed about improvement of investment climate, diversification of investment sectors, capacity building & skill development, information sharing related to investment and follow up mechanisms.

Bangladesh Investment Seminars, Tokyo & Osaka, April 13 & 15, 2016

Bangladesh Investment Seminar, Tokyo was organized by the Board of Investment, Bangladesh, JICA & JETRO at JETRO Head Quarters on April 15, 2016. It followed a similar investment seminar held in Osaka on April 13. A high level Bangladesh delegation comprised of Dr. Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, Hon’ble Power, Energy & Mineral Resources Adviser to Hon’ble Prime Minister, Executive Chairman of the Board of Investment, Dr. Syed Abdus Samad, Principal Secretary of Prime Minister’s Office Mr. Md. Abul Kalam Azad, Senior Secretary of Ministry of commerce Mr. Hedayetullah Al Mamoon ndc, Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority Mr. Paban Chowdhury, Ambassador of Bangladesh to Japan HE Ms. Rabab Fatima, Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority MD, Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority, Public Private Partnership Authority CEO and other senior officials took part in the seminars. FBCCI President Mr. Abdul Matlub Ahmed and JBCCI President Mr. Salahuddin Kasem Khan led a big business delegation to the seminars.

Executive Vice President of JETRO Mr. Satoshi Shimomura & JICA Director General of South Asia Mr. Toru Arai spoke in the Tokyo seminar. The seminar in Tokyo was attended by a full house of interested investors. Around 280 Japanese and some NRB business people attended. The seminar in Osaka was attended by around 170 participants. They showed keen interest in the latest information provided and had exchanges of views with both public & private sector participants from Bangladesh. The speakers from Bangladesh highlighted the incentives and opportunities in this emerging economy and urged the Japanese investors to explore the potentials and be a part of its inspiring endeavor to the next stage of economic development.

These latest initiatives are expected to offer new impetus to the Japanese investment and will go a long way in encouraging the investors from the land of the rising sun to be a part of the new era of hope, opportunity and initiatives in Bangladesh.

Incentives for investment

♦  10 years tax holiday;
♦  Concessionary tax exemption for another 5 years;
♦  Duty free import of raw materials and machinery’s;
♦  100 percent foreign equity with unrestricted exit policy;
♦  Full repatriation facilities of dividend and capital at the event of exit;
♦  Avoidance of double taxation;
♦  Provides ready plots or building in all Export Processing Zones Area;
♦  Investment is fully secured and protected by low
♦  And others

Promising sectors for investment

Textiles, frozen food, leather, agro-based industry, IT sector, ceramic, light engineering, hydrocarbon, etc.

Reasons to investments and trade

♦ Stable Macro-economic managements;
♦ Open competitive market economy;
♦ Trained and educated work force at the cheapest cost;
♦ Homogeneous Society Structure;
♦ Enjoys GSP (Generalized System of Preferences) facilities i.e. products are exempted from paying any duty while entering in Japan.
♦ Considerable size of middle class group in 150 million people constitutes a significant market to attract investment;
♦ And others


Mohammad Hasan Arif
Commercial Counsellor
Embassy of Bangladesh
3-29 Kioicho, Chiyoda ku
Tokyo, Japan
Ph: +813-3234-5801
Twitter: @Hasan_Arif