DHAKA: Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni paid a courtesy call on Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Katsuya Okada, at the Prime Minister’s office Monday.
During the meeting, Director General Kunio Umeda and other senior officials were present.
Dipu Moni discussed various issues following up on the recent visit of Okada to Bangladesh.
On Padma Bridge funding issue, Okada conveyed that the project could be undertaken under a new framework of donor arrangement as World Bank has cancelled its funding commitment in this project.
He assured the Moni that Japan would pursue the donor groups including the ADB to embark at a negotiated settlement in respect of the project.
The two leaders also discussed the recent rising trend of Japanese investment in Bangladesh and stressed on taking further measures to boost such investment as there remains huge potential.
He raised a particular issue of shortage of gas supply to one of the Japanese enterprises in Bangladesh in response to which Dr Dipu assured him of prompt action on the part of the Bangladesh government.
Later in the day, the foreign minister held a bilateral meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba.
Gemba thanked Dipu Moni for joining the Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan and expressed satisfaction at the outcome of the conference.
He expressed condolences for the victims of torrential rain and landslide in Chittagong and offered to extend support.
On the issue of Padma Bridge project, Dipu expressed the firm determination of the of Bangladesh to initiate the project on its own and urged Japan to support the project in this regard as a trusted friend and partner.
Highlighting the measures already taken by the government to ensure absolute transparency in the project, the foreign minister conveyed that the government of Bangladesh is ready to undertake the project with its own resources but would appreciate if countries like Japan can also extend their support.
He confirmed that government of Japan understands the feelings of the people of Bangladesh with respect to the significance of the Padma bridge project. He reaffirmed that the government of Japan would pursue the possibility of the funding of the project with other bilateral and multilateral donor agencies.
Dipu also held meetings with the JICA President Akihiko Tanaka on ways to further expand bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
JICA president assured that JICA would work closely with Bangladesh government in this regard.
JICA Director General Nakahara Masataka, JICA Chief Representative in Bangladesh Toda Takao and JICA Director for South Asia Division Ichiguchi Tomohide were present at the time.
Foreign minister conveyed Bangladesh’s position with respect to the unilateral decision of the World Bank to cancel the loan financing in the Padma Bridge project.
She mentioned that the World Bank neither followed the due process nor gave any credible evidence against the alleged perception of corruption. She also conveyed firm commitment of the government of Bangladesh to start the project without further delay at its own initiative and ensured zero tolerance for corruption.
She also urged the government of Japan to remain steadfast in their pledge for the continuation of the project. JICA President expressed regret at the WB’s decision.
Expressing satisfaction with Bangladesh government’s firm decision to go ahead with the project even at its own initiative and strong commitment in ensuring total transparency and accountability in the process, he mentioned that JICA as the implementing agency would consult with all other government agencies in Japan to further discuss the possibilities for continuation of funding the project including the framework for new arrangements.
BDST: 2108 HRS, JUL 09, 2012
Abul Kalam Azad, Newsroom Editor
Mohammed Humayun Kabir, Sr Newsroom Editor
All rights reserved. Sale, redistribution or reproduction of information/photos/illustrations/video/audio contents on this website in any form without prior permission from banglanews24.com are strictly prohibited and liable to legal action.