Bangladesh and Japan are set to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) to bolster bilateral trade and investment between the two nations. The bilateral relationship between the two nations has grown rapidly over the years, and Japan is now one of our most significant strategic partners. The relationship between the two nations underwent a significant shift which saw the visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to Japan in April. This visit helped both countries to elevate their bilateral relationship from a comprehensive partnership to a “strategic” one. Currently, lots of Japanese corporations want to relocate operations to various regions of Asia, this would be a huge opportunity for Bangladesh to attract more investment from Japan. Bangladesh received more than $100 million in investment from Japan in 2022, a record high, as the number of Japanese enterprises in the nation quadrupled over the prior decade. Furthermore, Japan has developed as an important economic partner for Bangladesh, with the principal exports being ready-made clothing and leather items.
However, there remains untapped potential for medicinal, agricultural, and fisheries goods to be exported to Japan. Bangladesh imports iron, steel, automobiles, and machinery from Japan at the same time. Addressing the current trade imbalance and growing trade prospects will be critical for the two nations’ long-term alliance. Tariff and duty structures, trade in products and services, investment, mutual recognition of certificates, and the present market condition all need to be examined. Against such a backdrop, the EPA demonstrates a strong commitment from both governments to deepen their economic collaboration and can serve as a model for other countries seeking similar accords for mutual growth and development.
– Saume Saptaparna Nath is a Research Associate at the KRF Center for Bangladesh and Global Affairs (CBGA) and Muhammad Estiak Hussain is a Research Assistant at the KRF Center for Bangladesh and Global Affairs (CBGA).
Published in The Confluence [Read Full]