Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Thursday expected that export earnings of the country will increase by additional US$40 billion and 10 million more jobs will be created in the economic zones (EZs).
“Our mission is to establish 100 economic zones in 30,000 hectares of land by 2030. Establishment of 76 economic zones has been approved so far or till now and the Prime Minister herself has inaugurated 10 of them,” he said while unveiling the FY19 budget today.
He said one of the pre-conditions for rapid economic development is increased investment. “We are gradually increasing public investment.
However, the purpose of this investment is to create investment-supporting environment for the private sector,” he added.
The finance minister said availability of electricity, gas and water connections, timely processing of investment proposals, availability of undisputed land play crucial role in attracting private investment.
By making these services easily available to the investors, he said, the government enacted ‘Bangladesh Economic Zones Act’ in 2010 for establishing economic zones in potential areas to expand or develop export oriented industries and attract foreign investment.
In pursuant to this Act, Muhith said, Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority (BEZA) was established under Prime Minister’s Office in 2011.
“Besides, the ‘Private Economic Zone Policy 2015’ was formulated. Project clearance, visa recommendation and assistance, work permit, import or export permits services are now being processed under one stop service from BEZA,” he added.
The finance minister said foreign and local investors have started setting up industries in these zones.
“Development works of additional 26 economic zones are underway. According to the Prime Minister’s directives, each of the economic zones is being made environment friendly by green afforestation, establishing water reservoir and ensuring proper waste management,” he added.
He said these economic zones will be surrounded by planned cities with modern housing that will certainly lead to vibrant economic activities.