Japan and Bangladesh have agreed to hold the first Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) between the two countries in Dhaka next February 5.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam remarked on Tuesday that this demonstrated an "elevated relationship" with Japan, while the Japanese Vice Foreign Minister observed that the two countries had already started reaping benefits.
On request of the Japanese side, Shahriar Alam held a meeting with the Vice Foreign Minister of Japan Kazuyuki Nakane in Male, capital of Maldives, on the sidelines of the "Golden Jubilee Celebration of the Independence of Maldives", said a Foreign Ministry press statement.
The Japanese government reiterated its commitment to take relationship with Bangladesh to a new height.
The Vice Minister mentioned that Japan remained firmly involved in implementing the "the Bay of Bengal Industrial Growth Belt" or BIG-B initiatives undertaken between the two countries during the successful return visit to Bangladesh by the Japanese Prime Minster Sinzo Abe in September 2014.
Shahriar Alam thanked Japan's for further relaxation of the Rules of Origin for Bangladesh knitwear products' export to Japan. The State Minister mentioned that Bangladesh offered high quality and competitive prices in jute products, handicrafts, garments, ceramics, leather products, pharmaceuticals and IT products for Japanese importers.
He also thanked for continued Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA) and for Japanese Yen 600 billion to ensure robust economic progress. While congratulating Japan on winning the bid for hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics,
State Minister Shahriar Alam also appreciated Japan's invitation for Bangladesh construction workers to participate in the "Foreign Construction Worker Acceptance Programme" for 2020 Olympic and Paralympics, and for the reconstruction works in the Great East tsunami devastated area under Technical Intern Training Programme (TITP).
Japan was offered to consider recruiting skilled construction workers from Bangladesh without the requirement of participation in the TITP.