Uddog o Uddokta Japan’s Annual Conference and the Celebration of 50 Years of Japan-Bangladesh Relationship Held in Online from Japan

With the aim of developing Bangladeshi entrepreneurship in Japan a day long international conference took place in online on 2nd July 2022. It was the Annual Conference of Uddog o Uddokta Japan Association for 2022. This year the theme was “50 Years of Japan-Bangladesh Relationship and Opportunities for Future Collaboration”. It was held in 7 sessions from 11 am till 6:30 pm JST. About 300 students, academicians, policy makers, businessmen and potential entrepreneurs registered in this conference.  

In the opening session, Dr. Shamsul Alam who is the Minister of State at Ministry of Planning in Bangladesh joined as the chief guest. The Ambassador of Bangladesh in Japan Mr. Shahabuddin Ahmed also joined there as a special guest. Among the other guests, there were Mr. Ashraf Ud Doula, Former Ambassador, Bangladesh Embassy, Japan, Prof. Dr. Mokhlesur Rahman, Principal at CODO International College, Japan Mr. Shariar Hossain, Managing Director, Deloitte Japan, Dr. Rafiqul Islam Maruf, Associate Professor, Kyushu University, Dr. Abdullah Al Masud Khan, Researcher, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Japan, and many more. The opening ceremony was chaired by Forhad Hossain Bipu, President, Uddog o Uddokta Japan Association. 

The guest speakers spoke about the achievements of Japan-Bangladesh 50 years friendship and expressed their remarks regarding prospects. The honorable ambassador expressed his message about Japan and Bangladesh's present and future collaborations along with discussing the importance of young entrepreneurship development. 

After the opening session, there were 5 plenary sessions as follows: 

Plenary Session 1:  50 Years of Japan-Bangladesh relationship. Achievements and opportunities for future collaboration

Objective:  To give an idea about the past 50-year bilateral relationship between Japan and Bangladesh, Japan's aid, opportunity for studies and economic achievements and opportunities. 

The session was moderated by Dr. Abdullah Al Masud Khan, Researcher, Tokyo Medical and Dental University. The speakers who were present are Dr. Abdullah Al Mamun, Associate Professor and Chairman, Department of Japanese Studies, University of Dhaka. He talked about “Japan-Bangladesh Diplomatic Relationship and Future Prospects”. Dr. Tazbir Ahmed, PhD Fellow, University of Tokyo discussed about “Japan's Support for Education and Youth Development for Bangladesh”.

 Mr. Syed Nasir Ershad, Economic Minister, Bangladesh Embassy, Tokyo made presentation on “Japan-Bangladesh economic relationship, achievement and future prospect”.

Among the resource persons there were present Mr. Ashraf Ud Doula, Former Ambassador, Bangladesh Embassy, Japan  and Dr. Moazzem Hossain, Managing Director, Japan East West Medical College. 

Plenary Session 2: Entrepreneurship to Achieve SDGs

Objective: To discuss Bangladeshi researchers and entrepreneurs’ initiatives, who are working to achieve SDGs as well as to explain the preparation of SDG 8 & 9 in Bangladesh

The session was moderated by Dr. Rafiqul Islam Maruf, Associate Professor, Kyushu University. The speakers who were present are Dr. Ashir Ahmed, Associate Professor, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan. He talked about “Digital Health Entrepreneurship to achieve SDG 3”. Mr. Shariar Hossain, Managing Director, Deloitte Japan, shared his activities and explained “The Role of Sustainable Technologies in Achieving the SDGs”. Mr. Tareq Rafi Bhuiyan, Secretary-General, Japan-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Bangladesh presented “Preparation of Bangladesh to achieve SDG 8 & 9 (Economic and Industrial Growth)”. Among the resource persons there were present Prof. Dr. Mokhlesur Rahman, Principal, CODO International College, Fukuoka, Japan and Mr. Takuya Kawamura, President, Sunpower Corporation, Japan. 

Plenary Session 3: Emerging Youth and Women Entrepreneurs

Objective: Story of three young emerging women entrepreneurs to understand their entrepreneurial spirit, challenges, social impacts, and how other young women can motivate by knowing these. 

The session was moderated by Dr. Mehruba Mona, Assistant Professor, Okayama University, Japan. The speakers who were present are Ms. Shailaja Kasaju, Country Director, Uddog o Uddokta, Nepal. She shared about “Tekka-Social Entrepreneurship Journey in Nepal and Plan for Uddog o Uddokta Nepal”. Ms. Yamashita Haruka, Executive Director, Ritzy Ichiba, Japan, presentive her initiative “Ritzy Ichiba- An initiave to empower women”. Ms. Samira Hossain Mili, Managing Director, Sanrin Japan Corporation, Japan presented her entrepreneurial journey “Sanrin Global and Its Social Impact to solve youth unemployment problem”. Among the resource persons there were present Mr. S M Ali Azam, Advisor, Uddog o Uddokta, Bangladesh Chapter and Associate Professor, Dhaka Commerce College, Bangladesh and Prof. Dr. A B M Shahidul Islam, Professor & Chairman, Department of Marketing, University of Dhaka  BoT Member, Eastern University, Bangladesh.

Session 4: Story of Failures

Objective: To discuss what failures the established entrepreneurs faced and how they overcame those challenges. What are the learning points from the story for the new entrepreneurs. 

The session was moderated by Mr. Usha Ranjan, Founder and CEO, Usha International Co.
Lecturer, GAIBU, Shizuoka University, Japan. The speakers who were present are Dr. Mashiur Rahman, Founder, BanglaTutor.org, Biggani.org . Mr. Xavier Chowdhury, Founder, iCurry, Japan and Mr. Muhammad Solayman Hossain, Founder, Sara Creations Co., Ltd., Japan. All speakers shared their failure story of their initiative and what they have learned from that, how that experience can help to the new entrepreneurs? Among the resource persons there were present Mr. Abdullah Al Mamun, President, Leo Trading Co. Ltd. and Mr. Hiroshi Yamamoto, Founder, Reserve Link Co., Ltd., Japan. 

Session 5: How to Start an Entrepreneurship

Objective: Discussing the primary steps to start an entrepreneurship, what sources are available for funding and to let people know which steps are to be taken in order to start a business in Japan.

The session was moderated by Ms. Sahjabin Kabir, Founder, Deyalkotha
Graduated from Harvard University, USA.The speakers who were present are Dr. Bishnu Kumar Adhikary, Associate Professor, Doshisha University, Japan. He talked about Sources of Startup Finance (crowd funding). Mr. Khokan Kumar Nandy, President, JBR Co. Ltd. discussed about “Legal Issues to Start a Company in Japan” and Dr. Farhad Haque, Author, Entrepreneurship in Plain English, Graduate from Harvard Business School, USA. He shared about “Steps to Start an entrepreneurship”. Among the resource persons there were present Dr. Rubina Husain, Managing Director, Institute of Hotel Management & Hospitality, Bangladesh and Prof. Dr. Munim Kumar Barai, Professor, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Japan. 

The closing session was moderate by Ms. Afrina Khan Piya, Secretary General, Uddog o Uddokta, Japan. Ms. Shirin Jahan, CEO, Uddog o Uddokta, Bangladesh summarized all plenary sessions discussion. Mr. M M Raihan, Vice President, Uddog o Uddokta, Japan presented profile of Uddog o Uddokta Japan and plan for next activities. Other team members of Uddog o Uddokta Mr. Monir Hossain, Ms. Nadia, Mr. Arnob, Mr. Tahmid, Mr. Sakayet express their remarks and Mr. Imamura Yosuke did the vote of thanks. 

It is needed to mention that Uddog o Uddokta is a nonprofit movement to work for entrepreneurship development and social development. Currently they are working in Bangladesh, Nepal, and Japan. Uddog o Uddokta Japan registered in Japan in 2020. 

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