Two EZs await $2bn investment

The Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) is expecting an investment of US$2 billion in two economic zones (EZs) soon despite the prevailing critical situation due to coronavirus pandemic.

Many deals have recently been inked and some others are awaiting signature between the BEZA and others to continue the infrastructure development work.  The development work at the country’s different economic zones is going on in full swing for completion within the stipulated time maintaining rules of hygiene.

BEZA Executive Chairman Paban Chowdhury told Bangladesh Post, “We’re going to ink a deal with a Chinese company which is going to invest a large amount.” 

He said the Chinese company, Yabang Investment Holdings Group Co Ltd, is keen to set up an export-oriented industry by leasing 100 acres of land at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpanagar (BSMSN) with an investment of $300 million. This will create as many as 2,200 jobs.”

“This is their initial investment and they will gradually raise their investment up to US$ 1 billion at the BSMSN. They have also demanded further allocation of 500 acres of land for this purpose,” he added.

Yabang has estimated that its annual export will be $146.40 million while the estimated sale target in the domestic market is $97.60 million.

According to BEZA, another Chinese company is willing to invest US$1 billion at the Chinese Economic Zone at Anwara in Chattogram. 

Paban Chowdhury confirmed the news by saying, “We are hopeful about getting another Chinese company’s investment amounting to US$ 1 billion at Chinese Economic and Industrial Zone (CEIZ) under construction at Anwara.”

Meanwhile, the authorities handed over cheques this week for land acquisition at Araihazar for setting up the Japanese Economic Zone (JEZ) there.

Government officials are optimistic that with the establishment of this EZ, planned industrialisation will be ensured and new employment opportunities will be created.

The JEZ is expected to attract US$20 billion worth of foreign investments, most of which will come from Japan. The investment is likely to play a vital role in creating employment and in transferring technologies to our country. 

JICA has been supporting this epoch-making economic zone from various perspectives. JICA will finance the land development work as well as other necessary infrastructures such as power plant, substation, gas pipeline, etc.

Paban Chowdhury at a recent deal signing said, “Although coronavirus stalled everything, development work did not stop at the economic zones. Local and foreign developers are working round the clock. Land and road development is going on”.

Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi in a webinar last week said, “In post-Covid-19 situation, trade and commerce will witness a significant change. As the trade war between China and America is continuing and Japan has already declared to shift investment, we have opportunities ahead to boost our business.”

“The ministry has recently undertaken a project under the Export Competitiveness for Jobs (EC4J) project for job creation, on 10 acres of land at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Industrial Zone in Mirsarai Economic

Zone, Chittagong and five acres at Bangabandhu Hi-Tech Park in Kaliakoir, Gazipur”, he added