Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) has received investment proposals amounting to around US Dollar 20.50 billion from 151 local and foreign business entities thanks to various steps of government to attract new investments, officials said.
BEZA is responsible for establishing and managing of state-run special economic zones (SEZs) across the country.
Out of the investment proposals, top officials of BEZA said, around $2.80 billion has already been invested in different SEZs.
Around $4.808 billion will come as foreign direct investment (FDI) from different companies in Japan, China, South Korea, India, Thailand, Australia, the UK, the Netherland and the USA.
World-famous companies like Honda Motors, Sumitomo Nippon, Asian Paints, Barger Paints, Adani Group, Wilmar, Yabang, Siam Group, TIC Group, Unilever, Sakata Inch and Chain Harbour are the major foreign investors.
Talking to BSS recently, BEZA Executive Chairman Paban Chowdhury said beyond these investment proposals, many world-renowned foreign companies are coming with big investment offers. "We've already developed eight state-run SEZs as per a move to make the country an industrial hub in the world," Chowdhury informed.
The zones, he said, are – Mirsarai Economic Zone, Mirsarai Economic Zone 2A, Mirsarai Economic Zone 2B, Feni Economic Zone and SBG Economic Zone under the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar (BSMSN), Jamalpur Economic Zone, Shreehatta Economic Zone and Mongla Economic Zone.
The BEZA executive chairmen said many entrepreneurs from home and abroad have already started construction works of their industrial units in the economic zones, while many are taking preparations to set up factories there.
He mentioned that the government is providing all sorts of facilities to the economic zones to ensure investment-friendly environment. "Both local and foreign businesses who will invest in the economic zones will enjoy the same facilities," he added.
Chowdhury went on saying that Jinyuan Chemical Industry Limited, a sister concern of the Chinese ZhuzhouJinyuan Chemical Industry Company Limited, has already set up their factory in the BSMSN at Mirsarai, Sitakundu and Sonagazi upazillas under Chattogram and Feni districts.
"We hope that at least 20 companies will start their construction works within this year," he said.
The BEZA executive chairman said the development works of another seven state-owned SEZs are going at a quicker pace to attract both foreign and local investors.
"We're also planning to establish another 14 state-owned SEZs across the country," he said.
Of them, the feasibility study of two SEZs – Netrokona Economic Zone and Bogura Economic Zone – has already been completed, he added.
Another 12 other SEZs which is mulling to be set up are – Gopalgonj EZ-1 in Kotalipara upazila under Gopalganj district, Sitakundo Economic Zone, Tangail Economic Zone, Manikganj Economic Zone, Bhola Economic Zone, Nababganj Economic Zone, Sylhet Special Economic Zone, Chandpur Economic Zone, Jamalpur Economic Zone-2, Nilphamari Economic Zone, Araihazar Economic Zone-2 and Panchagarh Economic Zone, he continued.
Chowdhury informed that the BEZA has already awarded pre-qualification license to 20 private economic zones and of them, 11 were given final license.
The private economic zones who obtained the final license are Meghna Economic Zone, Abdul Monem Economic Zone, Aman Economic Zone, Bay Economic Zone, Meghna Industrial Economic Zone, City Economic Zone, Sirajganj Economic Zone, Karnaphuli Dry Dock Special Economic Zone, East West Special Economic Zone, Kishoreganj Economic Zone and Hosendi Economic Zone, he said.
The BEZA chief said they have given pre-qualification license to the AK Khan Economic Zone, Arisha Economic Zone, United City IT Park, Bashundara Economic Zone, Sonargaon Economic Zone, Cumilla Economic Zone, Hamid Economic Zone and Standard Global Economic Zone.
He said the economic zones have already created direct employment opportunities for around 30,000 people, and through the proposed industrial units, there will be direct employment scope for at least eight lakh people.
Chowdhury said BEZA has undertaken a plan to establish 'Bhumi Bank' so that industrial development is not hindered in the next 50 years due to land scarcity.
"We've already acquired 47,856.3350 acres of land for developing the 22 state-run EZs," he said.