Three companies – Istamarina Refuelling Station Ltd, Bangladesh Agriculture Products Ltd, and Rangs Properties Limited – will invest $27.81 million in refuelling stations, agricultural product processing and tourism sectors.
The firms have been allotted 15 acres of land combined at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar and Sabrang Tourism Park, which is expected to create more than 850 jobs.
The investors signed the land lease agreements with the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (Beza) at its office on Tuesday.
Rangs Properties Limited, a subsidiary of Rancon Group of Bangladesh, will set up a hotel and resort on three acres of land at Sabrang Tourism Park at a cost of $10.27 million. It is expected to provide employment for around 400 people.
Mashid Rahman, divisional director of Rancon Holding Ltd, told The Business Standard, "We have partnered with architecture firms in Thailand and Singapore. We will start construction of the hotel soon."
The country's first exclusive tourism park was built in Teknaf upazila of Cox's Bazar on 882.26 acres of land owned by Beza.
According to Beza, the master plan includes food corners at various places in the park, an open stage for cultural programmes on the seashore, a reserve forest for environmental balance and nature lovers, recreation centres, local product stalls, exhibition space, a children's park, an underwater world, a botanical garden, an aquarium, etc., to attract domestic and foreign tourists.
Beza sources said that so far 21 companies have proposed investing around $400 million.
BSRM to set up cashew nut processing plant
Bangladesh Agriculture Products Ltd, a subsidiary of BSRM Group, will set up a cashew nut and agricultural products processing plant with an investment of $14.57 million on 10 acres of land at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar. It is expected to employ around 400 people.
Aameir Alihussain, managing director of BSRM Group, told TBS, "We have set up a plant on a pilot basis. We have observed that a modern factory is required to manufacture exportable products."
"We will build a large-scale, state-of-the-art plant at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar. The products produced here will be sold in the country's market and will also be exported. The government is supporting the development of this sector," he added.
As of now, the country has a total of 22 cashew nut processing factories. Collectively, these companies have a current annual production capacity of over 150,000 tonnes.
Currently, the worldwide annual production of cashew nuts exceeds 35 lakh tonnes. Amongst the major contributors, India accounts for 7.5 lakh tonnes, Vietnam for 4 lakh tonnes, and several African countries collectively produce 12 lakh tonnes annually.
The global market for cashew nuts has a value of $9.8 billion. Vietnam stands out as the largest exporter, with cashew nut exports worth $3.5 billion. Industry insiders indicate that the global market for cashew nuts is expanding at a rate of 4.5% per year.
Istamarina Refueling Station to set up refuelling station
Istamarina Refuelling Station Ltd, a subsidiary of Knit Plus Limited, will set up a refuelling station for CNG, LPG, octane, petrol, diesel, a car-washing facility, a restaurant, and a shopping mall on two acres of land at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar with an investment of $2.97 million and employ around 50 people.
Ishtiaque Ahmed Patwary, managing director of Knit Plus Limited, told TBS, "We will establish a modern refuelling station. There will also be a battery charging system for electric vehicles."
The country's largest industrial city, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar, is being constructed on an area of 30,000 acres of land in Mirsarai and Sitakunda upazilas of Chattogram and Sonagazi upazila of Feni.
Beza Executive Chairman Shaikh Yusuf Harun said, "Beza has been able to create a healthy investment-friendly environment in Bangladesh. One of the largest economic zones and industrial cities in South Asia is being built in Mirsarai. As a result of investment in new sectors, the export market of all economic zones, including industrial zones, will be more prosperous."
Beza is working toward establishing 100 economic zones across the country by 2041. The goal is to create employment for one crore people. It also expects to produce goods in and export products worth $40 billion annually from these economic zones.