EZs to spur economic growth

13 July, 2021 12:00 AM printer

The Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) has taken up a commendable initiative of setting up 11 Economic Zones (EZs) across the country. The initiative will inspire local and foreign investors to make massive investment to accelerate the economic growth of the country. It has been targeted to create 10 million new jobs within the next 14 years. The employment opportunities will reduce unemployment, generate income, improve people’s standard of living and result in human development and alleviation of poverty.

The gradual development of the EZs clearly showcases a transformation of barren pieces of lands into the most productive ones. The BEZA has already signed an agreement with 400 investors which would add significantly to the country’s export earnings in the next two years. There is no denying of the fact that the establishment of the EZs will surely change the face of the country. Our heart-felt thanks to the BEZA authorities for their relentless efforts to make the EZs world class investment destinations for the potential investors. However, the challenge of attaining rapid economic growth in combination with high rates of employment generation has become a more daunting task amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Light engineering, jute and jute goods, IT and ITES, pharmaceutical, agro and agro-processing, leather and leather goods are some of the promising sectors other than RMG that should be facilitated for entering the realm of middle-income countries. It is mentioned in a business page story of this daily that limited access to finance, shortages of skilled human resources, high duty on import of raw materials, non-tariff barriers, lengthy customs and testing processes, lack of certification, availability of low-cost bank loan, required policy reforms, delay in implementing API Park, weak backward linkage network, lesser agricultural productivity and limited negotiation capability are some of the major challenges of these sectors to be more competitive in the international market.

The government should play a more proactive role in addressing the issues. However, Visions 2021 and 2041 of the government are working as driving forces to ensure the promised goals by accelerating and nourishing the wheels of the country’s economy.