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June 19, 2014

JICA President Tanaka Visits Bangladesh
He holds talks in preparation for achieving the goals of the Bay of Bengal Industrial Growth Belt Initiative

photoTanaka, right, holds talks with Prime Minister Hasina.

JICA President Akihiko Tanaka visited Bangladesh from June 14 to 17 and held talks with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith. He also gave a lecture at the University of Dhaka, participated in the signing ceremony for the 35th Japanese ODA loan to Bangladesh, and visited the sites of JICA projects.

In his talks with Hasina on June 16, which came after the agreement on the Japan-Bangladesh Comprehensive Partnership at the Japan-Bangladesh Summit Meeting in May, the two affirmed the necessity of steady and rapid execution of the five projects for which Japanese ODA loan agreements have been signed, and they agreed to move forward with examining future development cooperation between the two countries. Tanaka talked about his lecture at the University of Dhaka and the results of his site visits while discussing possibilities for energy development (including natural gas and solar) in Bangladesh.

photoJICA President Akihiko Tanaka participates in activities for the women of agricultural villages put on by Shiseido.

In talks with Muhith on the same day, the topic was future cooperation including the Bay of Bengal Industrial Growth Belt Initiative (BIG-B), which was referenced as one aspect of the comprehensive partnership between the two countries at a news conference by the heads of state of Bangladesh and Japan after the leadership summit in May.

On the morning of June 16 at the University of Dhaka, Tanaka gave a lecture to some 300 professors and students entitled "JICA's Assistance Strategy: BIG-B and Beyond." He made the case that as the world's growth center expands from the Pacific Rim to the Indian Ocean Rim, South Asia should work to accelerate growth in concert with the overall region irrespective of national borders as well as with the Pacific area, and for that reason in Bangladesh, which connects the two regions, it is important to build the Bay of Bengal Industrial Growth Belt Initiative (BIG-B) as a base for the international value chain. In his lecture, he also talked about JICA's past activities related to participatory rural development and the maternal and child health.

At the signing ceremony for the 35th Japanese ODA loan (five projects, 120.986 billion yen in total) to Bangladesh, held the afternoon of June 16, with Muhith and other important government officials in attendance, Tanaka gave a speech about past cooperation to Bangladesh and the importance of BIG-B.

In addition, during his stay in Bangladesh, Tanaka visited the sites of projects including the Jamuna Bridge, which was built in partnership with the World Bank and Asian Development Bank; the Union Development Coordination Committee, which is being carried out as part of technical cooperation and assistance by Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers to link administrative service and villagers’ needs; and health and nutrition improvement as well as awareness activities for rural women carried out by the Japanese company Shiseido’s Base of the Pyramid business survey which JICA supports. He also held discussions with representatives of Japanese companies in Bangladesh regarding corporate activities and future prospects.

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