Nov. 22, 2018, Dhaka, Bangladesh – Today, five Japanese companies operating in Bangladesh announced plans to work together on the “Be the Light” project, a special initiative to support socially-vulnerable people in the country.
Ajinomoto, Grameen UNIQLO, Honda, Rohto, and YKK are all Japanese companies currently operating in Bangladesh. While each company has made its own economic contribution to Bangladesh through investments and business-growth, today’s announcement means they will now also formally unite to set about making a significant positive social impact in the country.
At a special ceremony, senior representatives from each company were in attendance to sign a MoU detailing their agreement to support vulnerable people in Bangladesh, especially in times of extreme difficulty, such as floods and winter-related or other natural disasters. The MoU also specified that the companies will work together to create and maintain grants that stimulate the economic development of at-risk communities.
Speaking of the aims of Be the Light at the signing ceremony, Managing Director, Ajinomoto, Mr. Yasushi Sawada, said, “Our aim is not only to do business, but to do so while also ensuring social development.” Mr. Najmul Huq, Managing Director of Grameen UNIQLO, said, “Grameen UNIQLO has been working for this type of cause since we started our business here. And through this initiative, we will now be able to contribute more to the people of Bangladesh.”
Such sentiments were echoed by other executives in attendance. CEO and Managing Director, Honda Bangladesh, Mr. Yuichiro Ishii, said, “We hope our efforts help underprivileged people in Bangladesh and bring a light of hope in their lives. Takashi Miyata, the Managing Director of YKK Bangladesh PTE LTD, mentioned, “Our Company Philosophy is “Cycle of Goodness”. Based on our philosophy, we want this initiative to contribute to disaster affected people’s lives and they get little hope in their lives through our effort.” Mr. Shafiqul Islam, Associate General Manager of Rohto, said, “We will work to raise support funds through our regular business activities and to secure the engagement of our valued customers in this project.”
In one of the first activities for the LIGHT OF HOPE project, the companies will come together in December to distribute warm clothing to people affected by the harsh winter in the northern regions of Bangladesh.