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JICA’s senior VP visits Bangladesh to strengthen bilateral co-op

Staff Correspondent
08 Jul 2024 14:28:22 | Update: 08 Jul 2024 14:36:53
JICA’s senior VP visits Bangladesh to strengthen bilateral co-op
— Courtesy Photo

The Senior Vice President (VP) of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Hara Shohei recently visited Bangladesh to commemorate the seven Japanese victims of the Holey Artisan Attack on July 1, 2016, at a memorial ceremony organised by JICA on last Wednesday.

His visit also aimed to strengthen relations with the Government of Bangladesh. The visit highlights JICA’s unwavering support in promoting industry diversification and contribution to Bangladesh’s economic development and sustainable growth, according to a press release issued by JICA.

During his stay, Hara Shohei engaged with different ministers and government officials.

He met Md Tazul Islam, minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives, to convey appreciation for the cooperation on JICA-supported activities and exchanged views on existing and planned activities.

He also met the Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Saber Hossain Chowdhury, and Secretary Dr Farhina Ahmed and highlighted JICA’s cooperation in climate change adaptation and mitigation, forestry, air pollution control, and waste management.

He expressed interest in continued discussion on capacity development, technology transfer, and knowledge-sharing. 

On July 4, Hara Shohei met the Minister of Finance, A H Mahmood Ali, and Minister of State for Finance, Waseqa Ayesha Khan. In the meeting, he emphasized cooperation through JICA-funded Projects and reiterated JICA’s commitment to supporting Bangladesh in achieving sustainable economic growth.

Hara Shohei also had a meeting with the Minister of State for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, Nasrul Hamid. In the meeting, he discussed milestone projects focusing on power grid stability and capacity development of government officials. He also reiterated his commitment to ongoing cooperation.

Besides, during the visit, he went to multiple JICA-supported project sites, including Bangladesh Special Economic Zone (BSEZ), Dhaka MRT Line 6, Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport Terminal 3, Kharulia Talimul Quran Madrasa, Matarbari Power Plant, and Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College & Hospital.

On June 30, Hara Shohei toured BSEZ at Araihazar. Observing Singer’s new factory operation, he expressed that BSEZ will be crucial in promoting FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) and industry diversification in Bangladesh. He further stressed that maximising the BSEZ’s high-quality functionalities requires unwavering support from the Government of Bangladesh, including BEZA (Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority), NBR (National Board of Revenue), and Customs.

On July 1, he visited Dhaka MRT Line 6, praising it as a successful bilateral cooperation project. “Dhaka MRT is one of the most successful projects with Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA) by JICA and a shining example of friendship and trust between Bangladesh and Japan.

We, at JICA, are very proud and honored to have walked with Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited and the Government of Bangladesh since the beginning of a long journey. We will continue our cooperation for future MRT lines.”

Upon visiting Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport Terminal 3, Hara Shohei added, “JICA remains dedicated to supporting projects that meet today’s needs and anticipate the future demands of a growing economy. We envision Terminal 3 becoming a hub of innovation and efficiency in the aviation sector, which will drive economic opportunities and enhance regional connectivity.”

On July 2, Hara Shohei visited the Matarbari Power Plant, commending its progress despite the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine War. He stated that the Matarbari Power Plant will strengthen Bangladesh’s power generation capacity and contribute to a stable power supply system. JICA’s comprehensive approach to developing the deep-sea port, roads, and bridges in Matarbari and surrounding areas will contribute to nationwide economic development.

He also visited Kharulia Talimul Quran Madrasa in Cox’s Bazar Sadar Upazila, where the Upazila Parishad has provided a school bus to the female students with funding from JICA-supported Upazila Governance and Development Project (UGDP). The madrasa authority expressed gratitude to UGDP and its contributions to all upazilas nationwide and emphasized the positive impacts of enhanced educational access for girls.

He also visited Nawabi Voj Restaurant to observe the impact of ‘The Project for Strengthening the Inspection, Regulatory and Coordinating Function of the Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA).’ He observed sample collection and inspection processes and appreciated the capacity-building activities of BFSA officials.

On July 4, Hara Shohei went to Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College & Hospital to observe two hospital wards. The capacity building of the nursing services project contributes to strengthening the implementation system of clinical nursing practices at the collaborative hospitals for nursing students. He also visited the Imaging Diagnostic Center at SSMCH and urged the construction team to prioritize safety measures and quality management.

He visited the Pre-paid Gas meter project. The project raised awareness among the users, and gas usage has decreased significantly. The users are also satisfied as their monthly expenditure has been lowered too. The project also contributes to detecting gas leakage and reducing methane emissions to the environment.