TBS Report

December 12, 2021, 10:15 p.m.

Last modification: December 12, 2021, 10:26 PM

A woman counts 10,000 yen Japanese banknotes in Tokyo, in this illustration photo from Feb. 28, 2013 / Reuters


A woman counts 10,000 yen Japanese banknotes in Tokyo, in this illustration photo from Feb. 28, 2013 / Reuters

After a meeting with Japanese businessmen on Sunday, government agencies told The Business Standard that they were facing various difficulties in implementing the Japanese businessmen’s proposals and that these issues could not be resolved. only through political decisions of senior government leadership.

Officials who participated in the joint Bangladesh-Japan public-private economic dialogue said the customs process at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport and Chattogram Port will be speeded up to encourage foreign investors.

Other measures include the provision of cash aid against exports by full foreign companies and joint ventures operating within export processing zones.

The meeting, aimed at strengthening bilateral ties and improving economic and development cooperation between Japan and Bangladesh, was held at the Prime Minister’s office on Sunday. It was chaired by the Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary, Ahmed Kaikaus.

Senior officials from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Commerce, Bangladesh Bank, National Board of Revenue (NBR), Chittagong Port Authority, Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (Bida), Bepza and Japanese investors doing business in Bangladesh also attended the meeting.

Japanese investors have made several proposals for companies operating in EPZs, including not issuing bond licenses and withdrawing VAT at the production stage, people familiar with the debate said.

Asked what was decided at the meeting on NBR issues, Syed Golam Kibria, member of customs policy, told TBS: “Giving additional benefits only to companies in the free zone will create inequalities. This therefore requires a government decision in this regard. “

Meanwhile, Sanjoy Kumar Chowdhury, a member of the Bida Investment Ecosystem Wing, said two issues related to Bida were raised during the meeting.

“Following the proposal of Japanese investors, we have proposed to transfer up to 6% of the C&F value of imported machines for royalties and technical costs before starting commercial operation. But the Japanese want the rate to be still increased, “he said.

He also said the prime minister’s principal secretary had asked to ensure that the Japanese could use the prescribed 6% transfer offer. However, he asked Bida to consider whether it could be further increased and whether this would have a positive impact on Bangladesh’s investments and exports.

“We have finalized a policy integrating the proposals of Japanese investors on various issues, including the creation of a branch,” he said.

The Principal Secretary called for the policy to be sent immediately to the Prime Minister’s Office.

The prime minister’s office also held a similar dialogue last year to attract Japanese investment to Bangladesh. Only three of the proposals put forward by the Japanese at the time have been implemented so far.

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