Bangladesh and Japan have reached important economic agreements that will help deepen bilateral cooperative relations, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said July 2.

After Hasina’s arrival July 1, the two countries initialed an investment promotion and protection agreement, she said in an interview with The Japan Times. She will spend six days in Japan to mark the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Hasina said that she and Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto also agreed that Japan would extend Bangladesh yen loans worth 16.25 billion yen during fiscal 1997. “These agreements have opened up a new era … paving the way for expanded cooperation,” Hasina said.

Hashimoto told Hasina that Japan will make efforts to increase the amount of grant-in-aid to Bangladesh for fiscal 1997 from the previous year, according to Foreign Ministry officials. Hasina said that she and Hashimoto discussed Japan’s cooperation in a project to prevent flooding of the Ganges River, bridge construction projects and human resources development in Bangladesh.

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