BD Post Desk
The government is going to soon approve ten more economic zones – four at public and six at private levels. Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA), in its 6th meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair selected these EZs for final approval.
The four public EZs include – Sitakundo Economic Zone, Chandpur Economic Zone (Matlab North), Chandpur Economic Zone (Haimchar), Natore Economic Zone, while the private EZs are Hamid Economic Zones (Mymensingh), Chatak Economic Zone (Sunamganj), Standard Global Economic Zone (Munshiganj), Hosendi Economic Zone (Munshiganj), Kazi Farms Economic Zone (Chattagram), and Anwar Economic Zone (Munshiganj).
Meanwhile, BEZA has come up with various incentives to attract local and foreign investors to economic zones, which are being developed in the country under four types of arrangements.
The BEZA, that had started its journey in 2010 with a view to facilitating industrialisation for job creation, increased exports and advancement of the economy, has taken the move in order to boost the country’s exports.
The incentives include ten-year tax holiday, duty-free import benefit and exemption from land registration fees, stamp duty and local government taxes. And investors in the industrial enclaves will enjoy full tax holiday for the first three years of the operation of their projects.
Investors can enjoy reduced tax breaks for the remaining seven years and the benefit will be reduced by 10 percentage points every year until the tenth year.
Companies setting up factories inside the economic zones will avail duty-free import of raw materials and bonded warehouse benefits to make products for both domestic and international markets, say the reports.
Besides, firms will get 50 per cent discount on land registration fee, stamp duty and local government taxes. Investors will enjoy tax exemption on royalty and dividend payment, while their foreign employees will avail 50 per cent off on income taxes.
There will be no bar on repatriation of capital and profit as well as foreign exchange.
Above all, electricity, gas and other connections will be easier to get in the economic zones. Factories that were in operation prior to issuance of licence for economic zones will not be able to avail the incentives.
Operated under the BEZA, the economic zones will ensure that the companies are compliant so that their products get market access globally.
Considering that issues related to availability of land, high taxation rates, combined with administrative and logistical hurdles have always stood in the way of attracting investment, the BEZA will single-handedly deal with all these matters to remove the hurdles
For all these, a rising number of entrepreneurs are joining the queue to establish private economic zones, encouraged by tax breaks and a host of other benefits offered by the government.
About 43 entrepreneurs have so far applied to the BEZA for licences to set up economic enclaves on their own land.
The BEZA so far awarded final licences to six and pre-qualification licences to 17 applicants. The remaining 20 applicants are awaiting approval from the BEZA governing board headed by prime minister.
One of the preconditions for rapid economic development is increased investment.
Bangladesh is gradually increasing public investment. The government is now working to create investment-supporting environment for the private sector.
The country is going fast in developing economic zones across the country that is scheduled to bolster the country’s economic growth through boosting exports and creating employment opportunities.