Japan not thinking about joint FTA study

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Japan has shown its reluctance to have forward a good proposal by Bangladesh for conducting a good joint feasibility research on the opportunity to indication a free trade contract (FTA) between the two countries.

They might not advance the initiative unless their local businesses wish for an FTA with Bangladesh, officials said.

The FTA is an insurance plan decision in Japan and the problem will only arise based on the need of the business circle there, they added.

Bangladesh in November this past year requested Japan to carry out a joint feasibility research for signing FTA.

Professional counsellor of Bangladesh to Japan Dr Ariful Haque and counsellor (political) Sheikh Farid late previous month met Japan overseas ministry's deputy director Chisako Nishitani and assistant director Anri Uno to achieve the update about the proposed joint feasibility research.

Mr Haque has recently updated the ministry of commerce found in Dhaka about the responses he received at the conference.

"…it seems complicated to have feasibility review as of this moment because they have to contemplate it with the requests from organization communities and economic aftereffect of FTA," he wrote, referring to Japan overseas ministry officials' views.

He likewise wrote that before taking a insurance policy decision on FTA, it seems, there is absolutely no scope at the moment to conduct a good feasibility study.

"As of this initial stage, this matter could be raised and discussed with japan stakeholders in appropriate discussion board like Japan-Bangladesh public personal joint economic dialogue," he suggested.

More secretary of the ministry of commerce Shahidul Islam told the FE that the ministry is normally yet to receive a formal response from the government of Japan over the proposal.

He said the problem may be raised in the assembly of the Japan-Bangladesh consumer private joint financial dialogue to pursue the personal sector towards signing an FTA.

However, the Japan-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Sector (JBCCI), a 230-member trade human body, has taken a proceed to conduct internal study over its associates to get their opinions on the advantage of signing an FTA or all other identical trade or economical agreement.

"There might be a good scope of signing FTA, or PTA (preferential trade arrangement) or perhaps EPA (economic partnership arrangement)," said JBCCI standard secretary Tareq Rafi Buiyan Jun.

But before that, the survey on the Japanese companies conducting business here and the Bangladeshi businesses dealing with Japanese companies can help understand the trade condition, he said.

Mr Jun also said that the study can help the governments have decision on conducting a good joint study and start proper initiatives including the formation of a working group for further conversation.

The JBCCI secretary further said as a result of upsurge in Japanese companies in the special economical zones, the scope of monetary partnership agreement can also be explored.

"We must begin right now the process to sign an arrangement through conducting a report as doing business with no any tariff preference deal may become complicated for Bangladesh following its graduation to top level," he added.

Region representative of Japan Exterior Trade Organisation (JETRO) Yuji Ando told the FE that some Japanese corporations feel the need for an FTA or perhaps expansion of existing generalised program of preference (GSP) facility.

"If the tariff-free usage of Japan is not obtainable, relocation (of factories) from Bangladesh might take place to different countries having trade agreements (with Tokyo) like that of Vietnam, ASEAN, and India," he wrote, replying to an e-mail.

The JETRO chief also said that as Japanese companies in Bangladesh export items and products mainly to Japan, you will find a need to start to see the harmony of trading items between your two countries carefully which would support understand if the FTA or GSP extension will be better to visit the next level.

JBCCI vice president M Jalalul Hai as well stressed the need for signing an FTA or such agreement when the amount of Japanese companies from consumer level to engineering level has been increasing on the country.

"Both export and import actions will come to be benefited from it as much Japanese and Bangladeshi businesses are right now engaged and you will be engaged in development actions from metro rail to electricity and port advancement," he told the FE.

The Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission (BTTC) had earlier studied the pros and cons of signing such a handle Japan.

The BTTC study discovered that signing of an FTA with Japan will be immensely good for Bangladesh in the post-LDC era when the united states would lose trade concessions globally.

Presently, all but a few Bangladeshi products enter japan market with duty-and quota-free facility, but that could not last long after Bangladesh's graduation from the least developed country status simply by 2026.

In 2018-19, Bangladesh imported goods worthwhile US$1.8 billion from Japan and exported goods worth $1.3 billion there, which is over 3.0 % of the country's total external trade.

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