JICA Executive Senior Vice President Visits Bangladesh

Dr. Junichi Yamada, the Executive Senior Vice President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), recently concluded his visit to Bangladesh. The visit, which took place from last Sunday to Friday, aimed to strengthen relations with the Bangladesh government during the historic 50th anniversary of Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA) to Bangladesh.

Dr. Yamada’s itinerary included attending a memorial ceremony on July 3 to honor the seven Japanese nationals who tragically lost their lives in the Holey Artisan attack in 2016. The visit also involved meetings with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the finance minister, planning minister, state minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, and other government officials.

During his stay, Dr. Yamada visited various project sites supported by JICA, including the Bangladesh Special Economic Zone (BSEZ), the Matarbari Ultra Super Critical Coal Fired Power Project, the Matarbari Port, Terminal 3 at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, Rohingya refugee camps, and Dhaka Metro (MRT) Line-6. He expressed admiration for the significant progress achieved through JICA-supported development works.

As the 50th anniversary of Japanese ODA to Bangladesh was highlighted, Dr. Yamada engaged in discussions with ministers and government officials on strengthening JICA’s cooperation in key areas such as industrial development and diversification, urban development, and inclusive development.

Dr. Yamada met with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday, where they discussed important areas of cooperation. Prime Minister Hasina praised JICA’s ongoing engagement in Bangladesh’s infrastructure development. Dr. Yamada reaffirmed JICA’s commitment to supporting Bangladesh’s sustainable economic development. The meeting was attended by Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Iwama Kiminori, JICA Bangladesh Office Chief Representative Tomohide Ichiguchi, Economic Relations Division Secretary Sharifa Khan, and Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Tofazzel Hossain Miah.

In addition to the official engagements, Dr. Yamada attended the memorial ceremony to commemorate the Japanese nationals who lost their lives in the Holey Artisan attack. In his address, he expressed deep sadness and regret for their loss and emphasized the enduring friendly relationship between both countries.

During site visits, Dr. Yamada observed the progress of development work at the Bangladesh Special Economic Zone (BSEA) in Araihazar, Narayanganj district, which aims to attract foreign investment. JICA has been funding infrastructure facilities at BSEA, including access roads, land development, utility connections, and establishing a one-stop service for approvals. Once completed, BSEA is expected to attract investments worth over $1 billion.

Dr. Yamada also visited project sites related to the Moheshkhali-Matarbari Integrated Infrastructure Development Initiative (MIDI). This initiative aims to establish an integrated economic hub for trade, investments, and energy on a vast development area. It includes a deep-sea port supported by JICA and is anticipated to be a game changer for Bangladesh’s economy.

Furthermore, Dr. Yamada visited Rohingya camps, where he assessed the activities of UNHCR, IOM, and the Japanese Red Cross Society. He emphasized JICA’s commitment to providing assistance to both host communities and the camps, in cooperation with international organizations such as the United Nations Volunteers.

Lastly, Dr. Yamada visited the construction site of the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport Expansion Project. The ongoing expansion project, including Terminal 3, will double the airport’s existing capacity and provide state-of-the-art facilities for an enhanced passenger experience.

Dr. Junichi Yamada’s visit to Bangladesh signifies the strong collaboration between JICA and Bangladesh in promoting development and strengthening bilateral relations.

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