Dhaka to sign US$ 2.5bn ODA deal with Tokyo during PM’s visit: FM


Dhaka, May 26: Bangladesh and Japan will sign their 40th ODA deal involving US$ 2.5 billion during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Japan visit on May 28-30 for implementing five projects as her visit is expected to bolster ties between the two countries.

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen came up with the information while briefing media at his ministry here on Sunday on Prime Minister’s Japan, Saudi Arabia and Finland visits, UNB reports.

Five projects, taken under the 40th Official Development Assistance (ODA) package deal, are Matarbari Port Development Project (1), Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project (Line 1), Foreign Direct Investment Promotion Project (II), Energy Efficiency and Conservation Promotion Financing Project (Phase 2) and Matarbari Ultra Super Critical Coal-Fired Power Project (V).

State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam and Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque were, among others, present at the briefing.

Minister Dr Momen said the ODA deal to be signed is 35 percent higher than what Bangladesh received last year.

He said the relationship between Bangladesh and Japan has upgraded to “Comprehensive Partnership” as Japan remains one of the key sources of Bangladesh’s foreign investment.

The Foreign Minister said Japan has gradually been expanding its cooperation in the areas of Bangladesh’s communication, power and energy; and industrialisation.

“The Prime Minister’s visit will play a significant role in expanding bilateral relations between the two countries,” he said.

He said the Rohingya issue will, among others, come up in a bigger way during the two-country visit.

The year 2022 will mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Bangladesh and Japan.

“The coming years will be very important for our two countries. Towards this anniversary, we’re working hard to enhance our bilateral relations even further,” Japanese Ambassador in Dhaka Hiroyasu Izumi told UNB in an interview in April.

In celebration of this anniversary, Bangladesh and Japan are expecting to see more and more interactions between the two countries, including cultural and people-to-people exchanges, in the years to come.

Several cooperation projects were launched with the successful mutual visits by the two Prime Ministers — Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe — in 2014.

Bangladesh is now “focused” as a country of tremendous potential for development and attracting more and more foreign companies for investment, said an official.

Since the year 2008, the investment from Japan to Bangladesh has been expanding, and the trend is getting stronger, especially after 2011.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina leaves here on Tuesday by a special flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines at 8:55am.

She will reach Haneda International Airport, Tokyo at 18:30 (local time) where Japanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs Toshiko Abe will welcome her at the airport.

She will attend a community event at Hotel Okura on the same day.

On the morning of May 29, the Prime Minister will attend a breakfast roundtable meeting with Japanese Business leaders and CEOs at Hotel New Otani there.

After that, the Japanese survivors of the Holy Artisan incident will call on her.

In the afternoon, she will have a bilateral meeting with her Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe at his office.

Sheikh Hasina will be given guard of honour when she will reach the Japanese Prime Minister’s Office.

After the bilateral talks, there will be a signing ceremony and joint press statement.

Later in the evening, she will attend the official dinner to be hosted by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at his residence.

On May 30, Sheikh Hasina will attend the Nikkei International Conference on “The Future of Asia” at Imperial Hotel where Prime Minister of Malaysia Mahathir Bin Mohammad and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will be the keynote speakers.

The theme of the conference is “In Search of the New Global Order Overcoming the Chaos.”

She will then attend the 25th International Conference on the Future Asia at the same venue and deliver her speech.

Later, JICA president Shinichi Kitaoka will call on her at her place of residence.

In the evening, the Prime Minister will attend the Nikkei Conference Dinner where Japanese Prime Minister will be the keynote speaker.

On May 31, the Prime Minister will depart from Haneda International Airport at 9:25am (local time) for Jeddah to attend the 14th session of the OIC’s Islamic Summit in Makkah.

Japanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs Toshiko Abe will see her off at the airport.

She will arrive at King Abdulaziz International Airport at 1725 (local time).

In the evening, she will attend the opening ceremony of the OIC summit.

Saudi Arabia is hosting the 14th session of the OIC’s Islamic Summit in Makkah on May 31.

The summit, titled ‘Makkah Summit: Together for the Future’, aims to develop a unified stance on events in the Islamic world.

On June, she will attend the first working session 1 12:30am and the second working session at 1:30am.

The Prime Minister will attend the closing session at 2:30am and then join the Suhoor Banquet at Safa Palace.

In the evening, she will perform Umrah.

On the morning of June 2, the Prime Minister will leave Jeddah for Madina by air and offer Fateha at the Rawza Mubarak (grave) of Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH). In the evening, she will depart Madinah for Jeddah by air.

On the morning of June 3, she will depart Jeddah for Helsinki, Finland via Frankfurt. She will land at Helsinki at 1pm (local time).

On June 4, she will call on the President of Finland at his official residence.

On June 7, the Prime Minister will leave Helsinki at 6:35pm (local time) for Dhaka by Finair.

On her way back home, Sheikh Hasina will make a stopover in New Delhi.

She will land at Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport at 6:05am (local time). She will leave Delhi for Dhaka by a flight of Biman at 6:20pm and reach home at 9:20pm.

Foreign Minister Dr Momen said the Prime Minister will celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr abroad as she will return home on June 8.