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Event Report: New Opportunities for Japanese Investors in Startups in Bangladesh

Event Report: New Opportunities for Japanese Investors in Startups in Bangladesh

UNIDO ITPO Tokyo, in cooperation with the Embassy of Bangladesh in Japan and Startup Bangladesh Ltd., held the seminar Investment Opportunities in Startups in Bangladesh on 26 September. The event aimed to provide information on Bangladeshs opportunities for startups, and the webinar was viewed by 190 participants including Japanese and Bangladeshi companies. 

At the beginning of the seminar, H.E. Shahabuddin AHMED, Ambassador of Bangladesh to Japan, addressed longlasting business relationship and friendship between Bangladesh and Japan. He stressed that Japan is a potential country for Bangladesh regarding trade, business, investment, and human resources and showed expectations that startups would bring mutual benefit to both countries. Dr. Ariful HAQUE, Minister of Commerce of the Embassy of Bangladesh, also addressed that the Embassy facilitates trade and investment through various schemes, and welcomes Japanese companies to discuss with the Embassy directly.   

In his keynote speech, Mr. Sami AHMED, Managing Director and CEO of Startup Bangladesh Limited, mentioned that Bangladesh is the 35th largest economy with a GDP growth rate of 6.03%. The young population, comprising 62% under age 35, is a significant factor in accelerating the country’s digitalization. Bangladesh’s startup ecosystem is expected to reach a total of USD 1 billion in investment by next year, with more than 2,500 unique startups supporting more than 1.5 million people. Startup Bangladesh Limited, a government-based Venture Capital company, is strongly assisting investments to promote startups.  

Two Bangladeshi startups joined the seminar to introduce their unique business. Ms. Sadia HAQUE, Co-founder & CEO of Share Trip, introduced their travel-tech platform that provides end-to-end travel solutions. The presentation was followed by Mr. Zubair AHMED, Founder & CEO of HISHAB, whose company offers fin-tech that contributes to the illiterate population, functioning over voice commands and conversational AI.   

The seminar was followed by two Japanese speakers who introduced the great potential of investing to Bangladeshi startups. Mr. Motoyuki ODACHI, COO of Cipher Core Co., Ltd., introduced their experiences working with the Bangladeshi government on developing Digital Bangladesh by 2041. Mr. Yuji Ando, Country Representative of JETRO Dhaka, also gave an objective overview of the potential of startups in Bangladesh, showing that the country has rich resources in young IT engineers.   

Finally, Mr. Zunaid Ahmed Palak, MP, Honorable State Minister for ICT Division, one of the youngest Ministers of Bangladesh and has been playing an instrumental role in leading the digital transformation of the country such asSmart Bangladesh, gave a video message to Japanese stakeholders. He addressed the potential of Bangladeshi startups and urged Japanese companies to take opportunities on incentives to invest in ICT sectors.  


Date: Tuesday, 26 September 
Time: 15:00-16:30 (JST) / 12:00-13:30 (BST) 
Venue: Online (Zoom) 
Organizers: UNIDO ITPO Tokyo 
                  Embassy of Bangladesh, Tokyo 
                  Startup Bangladesh Limited 
Supporter:  Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) 
Language:   English – Japanese (simultaneous interpretation) 

Presentation Materials 


15:00-15:05   Opening Remarks
                      Ms. Fumio ADACHI
                      Head, UNIDO ITPO Tokyo

15:05-15:10    Welcome Remarks
                      H.E. Mr. Shahabuddin AHMED
                      Ambassador of Bangladesh to Japan

15:10-15:30    Keynote Presentation “Investment Opportunities in Startups in Bangladesh”
                      Mr. Sami AHMED
                      Managing Director and CEO, Startup Bangladesh Limited 

                      <Pitching by Bangladeshi Companies>                                
                      ・Ms. Sadia HAQUE, Co-founder & CEO, ShareTrip (TravelTech)
                      ・Mr. Zubair AHMED, Founder & CEO, HISHAB (FinTech)

15:30-15:35    Presentation “How does the Embassy facilitate Japanese investors?”  
                      Dr. Ariful HAQUE
                      Minister (Commerce), Embassy of Bangladesh, Tokyo

15:35-15:55    Presentation “Business experience in Bangladesh by Japanese investor”
                      Mr. Motoyuki ODACHI, COO, Cipher Core Co. Ltd.

15:55-16:05    Presentation “Investment Opportunities in Bangladesh for Japanese Companies”
                      Mr. Yuji ANDO
                      Country Representative, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Dhaka

16:05-16:20    Q & A

16:20-16:30    Closing Remarks
                      Mr.  Zunaid Ahmed PALAK, MP
                      Honorable State Minister, ICT Division, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh 


Contact information

UNIDO Tokyo Office (Attn: Mr. Murakami / Ms. Fukuyama)