1658Published on May 29, 2019
Sheikh Hasina plans to take Bangladesh to the ranks of prosperous countries the way Japan has transformed into an industrially advanced nation from an agrarian economy.
The prime minister spoke about the plan at a reception organised by expatriate Bangladeshis at New Otani Hotel in Tokyo on Tuesday.
The Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman always wanted Bangladesh to industrialise along with development of agriculture, his daughter said.
“Japan is a model for us. We consider the development of Japan as a model. Japan is our tested friend. Our exports to Japan have increased alongside bigger Japanese investment in our country. It’s a fine relationship,” she said.
Hasina arrived in Tokyo earlier in the day to attend the Japanese media company Nikkei Inc’s The Future of Asia conference.
Political, economic and academic leaders from the Asia-Pacific region will share their opinions on regional issues and the role of Asia in the world during the conference on May 30-31.
Hasina in her keynote speech will emphasise the future of the ‘emerging Asia’ and its potential, the Rohingya crisis, and technological advancements, besides highlighting the development process of Bangladesh.
The participants will include Mahathir Mohamad, known as the father of modern Malaysia, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and the Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte.
Hasina is expected to meet Japanese premier Shinzo Abe in a bilateral meeting and witness the signing of a $2.5 billion official development assistance or ODA between the two countries.
At the reception, Hasina said: “Japan is a friendly country to us. We always think that Japan is by our side.”
She spoke of Japanese investments in Bangladeshi projects , including in Moheshkhali and Narayanganj.
The four-time prime minister noted she always visited Japan after coming to power.
She also spoke about progress Bangladesh has made under her watch, including achieving a robust GDP growth, an increase in per capita income and literacy rate, and development of health and ICT sectors.
Hasina asked the expatriates to hold their heads high, saying Bangladeshis should shun illegal ways to travel abroad after selling off assets.
Those willing to work overseas can take training at government centres while the expatriates have the opportunity to take loans from specialised banks that are there for them, she said.
State Minister for Expatriates’ Welfare Imran Ahmed and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam also spoke at the programme moderated by Bangladesh Ambassador in Japan Rabab Fatima.
Hasina’s sister Sheikh Rehana, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, PM’s Adviser for Private Industry and Investment Salman F Rahman and State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid Bipu are in the prime minister tour party.