Economic zones, a landmark initiative of the government to support planned industrialization, have been flourishing fast with a surge in investment proposals from local and foreign investors.
So far, investment proposals of $40 billion from local and foreign investors have been placed with Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) for the government economic zones across the country.Of the total proposals, investments of around $24 billion have already been confirmed, sources at BEZA said.
Of the total investment proposals, around $23 billion investment has been confirmed for the country’s biggest economic zone Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpanagar (BSMSN).
Around 30 business groups have already started development work of their industrial units and ready to go into operation.
It is mentionable that approval has already been issued for the establishment of 97 Economic Zones. Development work has already started in 9 Economic Zones and the development work in 28 Economic Zones is in progress, which has provided employment opportunity for around 40,000 people.
In addition, employment opportunities for another 8 lakh people will be created.
BSMSN emerges as the next industrial hubThe largest Economic Zone in the public sector 'Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Industrial City' is being developed in Mirsarai, Sonagazi and Sitakunda Upazilas on 30,000 acres of land as a planned and modern industrial zone.
BSMSN has already received investment proposals of around $35 billion of which $23 billion has been confirmed.
Companies from Japan, India, United States, Singapore and large local companies like Bashundhara Group, PHP, Walton, TK and many more have already started their work in this economic zone, BEZA Executive Chairman Paban Chowdhury said.
Work of establishing 28 industries is underway in BSMSN and two companies are ready to go for operation in next month, added the BEZA Executive Chairman.
According to sources at BEZA, UK company Berger Paints, Chinese Jiangsu Yabang Dyestaff, Jiehong Medical Products, CCECC Ltd, Australian HA Tech, Indian Marico, Asian Paints, Singaporean Wilmar have invested in the economic zone.
Local companies including Techno Electrical, East Asian, Astech Ltd, Samuda Food Products, Metro Spinning, Maksons Spinning, Uttara Motors, Unitex, Maf Shoes, N Mohammad Plastic and Ifad Autos received final approval for their investment in BSMSN.
Besides, companies like BSRM, Confidence Power Holdings,Delta Pharma, Frontis Group, Asia Composite Mills, KA design and some others are waiting for final approval.
Some 41 apparel manufacturers have got allotment of industrial plots at BSMSN to establish garment factories in the park. The companies are- Apparel Gallery, Uni Gears Ltd, R. D. M Apparels, Mars Sportswear, Shamser Rezia Fashion, RO Textile Mills, Four H Fashions, Charm Fashion, Columbia Garments, Columbia Apparels, Shin Shin Apparels, Visual Knitwears, Sams Attire, Uranus Apparels, TBH Fashion, Advance World, Epyllion Style, Al-Ittefaq Textiles, B.L.P. Warm Fashions, Chowdhury Fashion Wear, Well Fashion, Graphics Textiles, SF Denim Apparels, Impressive Knit Composite, Clifton Cotton Mills, Clifton Apparels, SQ Celsius Limited, Afrah Dresses, Energypac Fashions, Denim Fashions, EH Fabrics, Pacific Cotton, Global Shirts,
Karim Textiles, Avant Garments, Alps Apparels, Image Garments, Musk Trousers, Delicate Garments, Babylon Garments, and Babylon Casual Wear Ltd.
Development of other Economic Zones in progress
Development work of other economic zones including Jamalpur Economic Zone, Sabrang Tourism Zone, Srehatta Economic Zone is also progressing fast.
Companies like Noble Navigation, Reliance Solution, Max Infotech, BSCIC, Bio-Xin, PPS Plastic, Tabassum Universal Ltd have proposed to invest in the Jamalpur Economic Zone.
The country’s first tourism-based economic zone Sabrang Tourism Park, being built on 1100 acres of land in Teknaf, is also progressing fast.
White Orchid Guest House, Moonlight Overseas, Lizard Sports of Netherland, Inter-Asia Group of Singapore, Great Outdoors, and the Cox Today have already invested in Sabrang Tourism Zone.
Despite the growing demand for investment in the economic zones, entrepreneurs said that a lack of utility services to the industries has emerged as a major impediment towards the development of industrial units.