Japan incentivizing its companies to shift manufacturing facilities out of China and adding Bangladesh to a list of preferred destinations for relocating the factories might give the nation’s economy a boost.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic started in China, Japanese companies needed to diversify” their supply chains further, Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Naoki Ito said in an interview. “This will provide an opportunity for Bangladesh.”
Japan’s nudge to relocate companies comes at a time when a special economic zone (SEZ) is being developed in Bangladesh to attract Japanese firms’ production facilities.
The industrial zone sprawling on 405 hectares in the Araihazar sub-district, 32km from the capital Dhaka, is expected to bring in US$20 billion in Japanese investment, the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority said.
For years, Japanese manufacturers have sought lower labor costs and supply-chain diversification by moving some output out of China, as wages rose and infrastructure in countries like Vietnam and Bangladesh improved.
Over the past 10 years, the number of Japanese companies operating in Bangladesh has tripled to about 300, Ito said.
Japan has allocated US$350 million in special loans to set up the US$1 billion industrial zone, making it the largest such assistance for an SEZ in Asia, Ito added.
The Araihazar Industrial Park, which is to be operational by next year, is seeking to draw new investments from automakers, such as Suzuki Motor Corp and Mitsubishi Corp, Ito said.
Japan Tobacco Inc and Honda Motor Co are so far among the largest Japanese investors in Bangladesh.
The nation occupies a geographically strategic location linking South Asia and Southeast Asia, and Japan is planning a 177.77 billion taka (US$2.1 billion) deep-sea port on Matarbari Island.
One of the world’s most populous countries, Bangladesh has 160 million people residing in a land area that is about 40 percent of Japan.
Bangladesh’s economy, which grew an estimated 5.2 percent in the year ended in June last year, is expected to expand 7.4 percent in the current financial year.
While that is slower than the 8.2 percent pace previously forecast, it still puts the nation ahead of regional peers on the growth metric.
The country nestled between India and the Bay of Bengal is a destination with “good and strong” prospects for Japanese companies, Ito said.
“The pace of recovery is faster in Bangladesh, compared with neighboring countries,” Ito added.
‘FINGERPRINTING’: The ‘private relay’ feature hides a user’s IP address by rerouting the Web connection through a third party, making it impossible to infer their identity Apple Inc on Monday said a new “private relay” feature designed to obscure a user’s Web browsing behavior from Internet service providers and advertisers would not be available in China for regulatory reasons. The feature was one of a number of privacy protections Apple announced at its annual software developer conference on Monday, the latest in a years-long effort by the company to cut down on the tracking of its users by advertisers and other third parties. Apple’s decision to withhold the feature in China is the latest in a string of compromises the company has made on privacy in a country
Apple Inc has hired Ulrich Kranz, a former senior executive at BMW AG’s electric vehicle (EV) division, to help lead its own vehicle efforts, people familiar with the situation said. The tech giant hired Kranz in recent weeks, about a month after he stepped down as CEO of Canoo Inc, a developer of self-driving EVs. Before cofounding Canoo, Kranz was senior vice president of the group that developed the i3 and i8 cars at BMW, where he worked for 30 years. Kranz is one of Apple’s most significant automotive hires, a clear sign that the iPhone maker is determined to build a
PLEDGE: The contract chipmaker said it would issue at least NT$2.5 a share each quarter and no less than NT$10 per share for the whole of this year Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, yesterday raised its proposed cash dividend for last quarter to NT$2.75 per share from NT$2.5 a year earlier, given the company’s increased earnings. That represents a payout ratio of about 51 percent based on its earnings per share of NT$5.39 in the first three months of this year. TSMC said that its board of directors approved the cash dividend distribution yesterday. The Hsinchu-based chipmaker reassured its investors that it intends to maintain a stable and sustainable dividend policy. The company said that it would issue at least NT$2.5 a share
TIMELY RAIN: Before the arrival of the seasonal plum rains late last month, the nation had gone almost a year without significant rainfall in catchment areas Timely plum rains have significantly alleviated a historic water shortage in Taiwan, allowing water restriction measures to be lifted in some areas, while the hardest-hit areas remain on alert, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said yesterday. “Thanks to Tropical Storm Choi-Wan, the sustained plum rains and continued water resource management efforts, the water situation in Taiwan has been greatly alleviated,” Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美華) told an online news conference. More than 100mm of rain has fallen in the catchment areas of the reservoirs in Miaoli and Taichung counties over the past few days, Water Resources Agency data