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Strategic partnership with Japan is Bangladesh’s biggest success: PM Sheikh Hasina

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday said Bangladesh and Japan have successfully elevated the bilateral relations to a ‘Strategic Partnership’ calling it the biggest achievement of her recent official visit to Japan.

“By this visit, the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Japan have reached to Strategic Partnership and that is our biggest achievement,” she said about her four-day Japan visit from April 25. From Tokyo she travelled to Washington DC and London on the second and third leg of her three-nation tour that also took her to the United States and the United Kingdom.

The premier was addressing a press conference on her 15-day tour of the three nations at her official residence Ganabhaban in the capital on Monday. She returned home on May 9.

PM Hasina expressed gratefulness to Almighty Allah for saving Bangladesh from the massive loss of life and property from the severe cyclone Mocha.

She said her government had taken adequate preparations to minimize the damage noting she herself made constant inquiries and gave various instructions, UNB reports.

Hasina said while in Tokyo she held bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

Issues involving mutual interests on investment, enhanced trade relations, power and energy sector cooperation, security cooperation, and Rohingyas were discussed during the talks, she added.

The PM said following the talks eight agreements and Memoranda of Understanding were signed between the two countries in presence of the two leaders.

The documents are on agriculture, metro rail, industrial upgrade, ship recycling, customs matters, intellectual properties; defence cooperation, ICT and cyber security cooperation, she added.

The PM also paid a curtsey call on Emperor of Japan Naruhito at the Imperial palace, while she held meeting with Fumiya Kokubo, Chairman, Japan-Bangladesh Committee for Commercial & Economic Cooperation.

Foreign Minister of Japan Yoshimasa Hayashi, JICA President Dr. Tanaka Akihiko, Norihico, Chairman abd CEO of JETRO Ishiguro Norihico, President of Japan-Bangladesh Friendship League Taro Aso also called on Sheikh Hasina at Akasa Palace,she added.

Hasina said she also attended the Bangladesh Investment Summit and a programme to confer the “Friends of Liberation war Honour” upon four Japanese nationals in recognition of their contribution in Bangladesh’s liberation war in 1971.

The PM also joined a community reception at the Westin Tokyo, she added.

She said on the second leg of her tri-nation tour, she went to Washington DC in the United States on 28th of April and attended the celebration marking 50 years of partnership between Bangladesh and the World Bank.

She held a meeting with senior executives of the US-Bangladesh Business Council as well as with President and CEO of the US Chamber of Commerce Suzanne P. Clark.

Besides, the prime minister also joined a meeting with board members of the World Bank, she added.

In the meeting Hasina called upon all international agencies including the World Bank to continue their assistance to transform Bangladesh into a “Smart Bangladesh by 2041”

Later, the PM presented a painting on the Padma Bridge to the World Bank President.

During the time, Sheikh Hasina said, her government constructed the bridge with country’s own fund taking the challenges despite the World Bank withdrew its financing on false allegation of corruption.

Hasina said a loan agreement of USD2.5 billion has been signed between Bangladesh and the World Bank for implementing five projects in various sectors, including regional trade and connectivity, disaster preparedness and environmental management.

She and World Bank President David Malpass witnessed the exchanges of the financing agreement among the authorities concerned, she added.

Hasina departed Washington for London on 4th May to attend the coronation of Charles III and his wife, Camilla, as king and queen of the United Kingdom.

The PM said she also joined biennial summit of the Commonwealth leaders in London.

Besides, she also held bilateral meeting with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

During the meeting, Sunak praised the economic growth of Bangladesh under her leadership.

Sheikh Hasina also held meeting with Commonwealth Secretary General Baroness Patricia Scotland.

Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema paid a courtesy call on her at the Claridge Hotel in London,she added.

The Prime Minister also joined a community reception in London, she added.

Hasina said a Joint Communique was signed between Bangladesh and the UK on aviation trade and investment partnership.