The Hi-tech parks are ushering in a new hope of attracting more foreign direct investment (FDI) as the technology zones are gearing up to house hardware and software manufacturing units of both local and international tech firms.
Some Tk 24 billion will be invested in the Hi-tech parks over the next five years, Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority (BHTPA) Managing Director Hosne Ara Begum has said.She also projected that the Hi-tech parks are expected to generate 50,000 new employments by 2023.
BHTPA, a wing of the under ICT Division, is collaborating with local and international agencies to develop necessary infrastructure woo more local and foreign investments in the Hi-tech parks.
“Many local and international companies are getting plots in different hi-tech parks. All big companies will be accommodated in Bangabandhu Hi-tech City in Kaliakoir of Gazipur. We specially focus on research and development-based manufacturing in the park,” she said.
Including Bangabandhu Hi-Tech City, five other such parks across the country are ready to attract investment to the country, according to the official.
Barendra Silicon City in Rajshahi and Sylhet Electronic City in Companiganj are focusing on hardware electronics manufacturing outside Dhaka.
Besides, BHTPA authorities also allocated plots to foreign and local software firms in Sheikh Hasina Software Technology Park in Jashore and Janata Hi-tech Park in Dhaka.“Hi-tech parks generated over Tk500 million in revenues in last eight years as five parks are ready for investment. Tech parks already fetched Tk 8.25 billion, of which the government injected Tk 4.98 billion into the sector,” Secretary Hosne Ara added.
There are 13,000 youths employed as 110 start-ups and other tech firms have invested Tk 3.27 billion in different Hi-tech parks, according to the official.
“There are several projects in operation under Hi-tech park authorities including Chattogram Software Technology Park, Sheikh Hasina Institute of Frontier Technology, Sheikh Kamal IT Incubators in 11 districts and Bangladesh Digital Service and Employment Training Centre,”
The government offers a tax waiver for investors in Hi-tech parks to promote investment and youth employment.
Under the scheme, investors in the parks will get a full tax holiday for the first three years since the inception of their operations after which the benefit will gradually decline to be fully phased out in the eleventh year.
Major local and international companies are opting to invest in the parks. Korean smartphone brand Samsung, local firms Summit Technopolis, Walton, Chinese state-run organisation SinoPharm and Oryx are among the leading companies who got space allocation.
Oryx Biotech recently announced a mega-investment worth of $300 million to establish a plant at Bangabandhu Hi-Tech City injecting serial investments in biotechnology.
The firm will develop plant at Hi-Tech City to reach annual production of 1,200 tonnes of plasma which will be used in medicine for many deadly diseases.
Besides, local company DataSoft is assembling smart wrist bands and two types of laptops at its plant in Bangabandhu Hi-Tech City in Gazipur. The company acclaimed global attention by exporting Internet of Things devices to Saudi Arabia from the plant.