The government efforts of establishing 100 Economic Zones (EZs) have opened a new door for the investment in the country, from both the local and foreign investors.
Concerned authorities and the leading businessmen expressed the hope that the economic zones will lead the country towards a new height in terms of its economic growth.
The Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) has so far selected 59 economic zones across the country while 47 has got government approval.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on February 28, 2016 inaugurated development work of the ten economic zones, opening the new door of investment for the investors.
BEZA sources said that apart from five economic zones for China, India and Japan, a number of individual investors from several countries have shown their interests in investing in the economic zones.
Alongside the local investors, individual investors from many countries, especially from India, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Sri Lanka are expressing their interests to invest in the economic zones, sources at BEZA said.
“Individual investors especially from far-east and south-east countries are showing interests and continuing consultations with us. EZs will be able to attract huge investment in the country which will boost the country’s economy”, said BEZA Executive Chairman Paban Chowdhury.
He also said, “The process is on, but it does not mean that all the investors who show interest can invest in Bangladesh.”
Although a section of entrepreneurs has expressed little confusion over the proper management of gas, power and energy but the country’s businessmen lauded the new effort of the government as the new move would help create a new hub of safe investment.
“Though the country’s investment is going through a slack condition, the economic zones would change the scenario,” Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, senior vice-president of the FBCCI told daily sun.
Lauding the move on developing EZs, he said that if the government is really able to provide gas and power in the economic zones, surely it will be an outstanding place for investment.
The government should accommodate all the facilities at the EZs so that the investors can come up with investment without any fear, said Mohiuddin.
“I believe that the incumbent government is capable to arrange all the necessary arrangements”, he said.
Mentioning that the EZs will play significant role in ensuring economic growth, he said, earlier little arrangement was made from the government for creating the scope for huge investment, but the incumbent government has done the excellent task. It will be a great scope for the investors.
However, BEZA officials assured that the arrangement to ensure all facilities for the safe investment in the economic zones has been made.
Sources said limitation of getting land for the greater investment was one of the main constraints to go for greater development. Now the constraint has gone with the government move of establishing 100 economic zones and obviously it will open the way for investment. The ten economic zones alone get more than three thousand acres of land.
BEZA officials said, since the government has announced huge incentive packages for the investors, it will attract extensive investment from both the Bangladeshi and foreign investors.
The government has already opened the development work of ten economic zones. Of them, six are private economic zones—Abdul Monem Economic Zone in Munshiganj, AK Khan Economic Zone in Narsingdi, Aman Economic Zone in Narayanganj, Bay Economic Zone in Gazipur and Meghna Economic Zone and Meghna Industrial Economic Zone in Narayanganj.
The four public economic zones are Mongla PowerPac Economic Zone, Mirsarai Economic Zone, Srihatta Economic Zone in Moulvibazar and Sabrang Economic Zone in Teknaf.
According to the BEZA list, the other approved public economic zones are Anwara EZ (Gahira), Sirazganj EZ, Anwara-2 EZ, Shreepur EZ, Dhaka IT SEZ, Jamalpur EZ, Narayanganj EZ, Naraynaganj-2 EZ, Panchagarh EZ, Narsingdi EZ, Ashugonj EZ, Nilphamari EZ, Manikganj EZ, Bheramara EZ in Kushtia, Agailjhara EZ in Barisal, Bhola sadar EZ, Bhola Sadar EZ, Dhaka Economic Zone at Dohar, Habigonj Economic Zone, Shariatpur EZ in Jajira, Shariatpur EZ-2 in Goshairhat, Jaliardip Economic Zone, Teknaf EZ in Cox’s Bazar, Moheshkhali-1 EZ in Cox’s Bazar, Cox’s Bazar Special EZ in Moheshkhali, Moheshkhali-2 EZ in Cox’s Bazar, Moheshkhali-3 EZ in Cox’s Bazar, Moheshkhali Special Economic Zone in Cox’s Bazar, Natore Economic Zone (Agro Food Processing Zone), Araihazar Economic Zone in Narayanganj, Rajshahi Economic Zone, Sherpur EZ, Feni Economic Zone and an EZ in Mongla for Indian investors. Couples of private economic zones are Garments Shilpa Park by BGMEA in Munshiganj, Famkom Economic Zone PEZ in Bagerhat and Comilla EZ.
BEZA said that ten more economic zones will be ready by next December for the development work.
BEZA Executive Chairman said that they got more than 30,000 acres of land in the Mirershorai and Feni areas where they can develop 20-25 economic zones. EZ will be the heart of Bangladesh as the government has been offering attractive incentive for the investors.
It may be mentioned that BEZA is attached with the Prime Minister’s Office and is mandated to establish, license, operate, manage and control economic zones in Bangladesh.
BEZA started its journey in 2010 through the approval of Economic Zones Act-2010 to attract both the foreign and domestic investors.
In 2012, five economic zones were selected on pilot basis. With the difference of three years, now the number of economic zones stands at 59. It has planned to establish 100 economic zones across the country over 75,000 acres of land and to create job for 10 million people in the economic zones.