Japan intends to focus on the development of Bangladesh’s Matarbari port as part of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s novel, free, and open Indo-Pacific strategy. This strategy is going to be part of Japan’s bigger infrastructure development efforts across the Bay of Bengal as well as Northeast India, with a stress on multilayer connectivity.
The deep seaport, which happens to be situated in the Cox’s Bazar district, is being enhanced with the aid of the Japan International Cooperation Agency and is anticipated to reduce the pressure exerted on the Chittagong port while also catering to the future needs of both Northeast India and Bangladesh.
In his recent speech at New Delhi, India, Fumio Kishida, the Japanese PM, said that, viewing Bangladesh as well as other areas of the south as a single economic corridor, they are inclined towards expanding the Bay of Bengal-Northeast India industrial value chain concept that’s with India’s and Bangladesh’s cooperation so as to foster growth when it comes to the entire region.
Japan is now looking forward to holding conferences that involve India’s northeastern states’ governments and the Bangladesh government, along with the private sector, in order to promote economic growth and attract the interest of Japanese companies across the region. The efforts of Japan also include road development across the Indian states of Assam, Mizoram, and Tripura for better transport, which will connect to the Japanese-assisted projects in Bangladesh.
It is well to note that the enhancement of the industrial value chain that connects the Bay of Bengal to the North-East Indian region is anticipated to bring sufficient economic perks to the region as well as beyond it. As one of the leading nations in the IPOI (Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative), Japan has been working in close proximity with India to help support its landlocked region of the Northeast by way of the Japan-India Act East Forum.
This initiative in the East came into being in 2017 with the view of developing the northeast region and also promoting its connectivity with south-east Asia. PM Kishida during his speech also shared his vision when it comes to a free and open Pacific. He is of the opinion that the northeast of India, which is surrounded by land, has tremendous untapped potential. According to him, by way of promoting private investment and also upgrading the connecting infrastructure, his country wants to bring to the fore a comprehensive concept for the economic growth and development of the region.
As far as Bangladesh is concerned, Japan has been working with them in order to support the Matarbari project and elevate the connectivity in the Bay of Bengal region through Bay of Bengal Industrial Growth Belt action. Japan has gone on to launch a joint study group for a prospective partnership agreement with Bangladesh so as to further enhance economic cooperation.