In an exclusive interview with the Daily Sun Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) Executive Chairman Paban Chowdhury painted a rosy picture of the future of the Bangladesh’s economic growth. He hoped that the 100 Economic Zones that the government is readying to facilitate industrialisation and rake in foreign investment will bring about a tremendous change in the country’s socio-economic outlook. It is heartening to know that the construction work of the Economic Zones is going on in full swing despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Dismissing the naysayers who claim that the country is failing to attract foreign investment, BEZA Chairman said around 100 Japanese companies were coming to invest in Bangladesh. To some extent, the pandemic came as a blessing for Bangladesh because it exposed the perils of global supply chain reliance on a single country which is China. Now countries across the world are looking to develop alternative suppliers and Bangladesh stands ready to gain from it.Also, since the Covid-19 fallout, Japan is giving incentives to its companies located in China to shift their manufacturing facilities out of the country. The nudge came at a time when Bangladesh was readying the Economic Zones and was in the process of developing a over 1000 acres of land as Japanese Especial Economic Zones in Araihazar upazila of Narayanganj. It is worth mentioning that the number of Japanese companies has thrived in the last one decade in Bangladesh. It will not be surprising if the momentum gets a boost in near future as Japan added Bangladesh to a list of preferred destinations for relocating its factories from China.
Now that Bangladesh prepares to leave behind LDC tag, proper and timely construction of the Economic Zones will no doubt expedite the country’s journey to becoming a developed country by 2041. However, earlier we reported some clear bottlenecks in these Economic Zones such as slapping of 15% tax on leased lands, lack of approach roads to sites etc. which BEZA must sort out at the soonest. If implemented properly, the Economic Zones will serve as engines to generate growth, jobs and development.