June 15, 2017 10:00 am JST

Bangladesh's Alam: Japanese investment can feed 'new Asian Tiger'

Foreign minister assures investors of Dhaka's progress against terrorism

MITSURU OBE, Nikkei staff writer

Shahriar Alam, Bangladesh's state minister for foreign affairs, speaks during an interview on June 6. (Photo by Mayasuki Kozono)

Bangladesh aims to become "a new Asian Tiger" by sustaining its 6%-plus growth over the coming decades, the country's state minister for foreign affairs, Shahriar Alam, said during an interview on the sidelines of the conference.

The tiger, Alam suggested, embodies some of the qualities he believes characterize the Bangladeshi economy, such as strength, energy and agility.

Japanese investment will be key to unleashing the economy's long-term potential. Currently, there are 245 Japanese companies in Bangladesh. "We'd love to see that ... number grow into 500, [and] 500 grow into 1,000, as the Japanese businesses helped the Thai economy tremendously," the minister said.

One challenge facing the country is ensuring the security of foreign investors. This is especially pressing following a terrorist attack last July in the nation's capital of Dhaka.

Alam said the country is countering the threat. "Since then, no further terrorist attacks, nowhere near to that nature, actually took place," he stressed. "Am I saying that we have dealt with it and we guarantee that that will never happen? No, I'm not saying that, except that it's a fight that we are winning."

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