China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) has won the contract to set up "Chinese Economic and Industrial Zone (CEIZ)" in Chattogram as a Chinese government's nominated developer.
Committee on Economic Affairs in a meeting, with Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal in the chair, gave in principle approval to a proposal of Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority (BEZA) to award the contract to the CRBC through direct procurement method (DPM).
The Chinese firm will establish the economic zone on a G2G basis on 784 acres of land in Anwara Upazila of Chattogram district.
The CRBC will also provide the necessary utility services along with the development of the economic zone.
Earlier in June 2014, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during her visit to China had offered the Chinese investors to set up an exclusive economic zone in Bangladesh.
She made her call while addressing the 9th China-South Asia Business Forum held at Haigeng Conference Centre in Kunming, China.
The Economic Zones Authority (BEZA), a government body under the Prime Minister's Office, also signed an agreement with the Commerce Ministry of China during the visit.
BEZA took up the plan to implement the project by June 2016.
As follow-up, on 15 September 2015, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved the proposed Economic and Industrial Zone involving Tk 420.37 crore exclusively for Chinese investors.
The approval was given to the project, officially known as Acquisition of Land for Development of Anwara-2 Economic Zone, at the 7th Ecnec meeting of the current fiscal year held at the NEC conference room held with Ecnec chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
The project aims to create a congenial business environment for attracting Chinese companies there as well as creating scopes for jobs for ensuring sustainable economic development.
As per the deal signed with the Chinese Commerce Ministry, Bangladesh will provide land to Chinese investors on a long-term lease basis and a firm nominated by China will set up the economic zone on the land.
It was said during the deal that once the project is implemented, huge jobs will be created for Bangladeshis.
Meanwhile, the BEZA and the CRBC signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the development of CEIZ in southeastern Bangladesh.
Under the MoU signed on 11 August 2022, the Chinese company was assigned to develop the economic and industrial zone dedicated to Chinese investors at Anwara some 242 km southeast of the capital Dhaka.
Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming attended the signing ceremony, saying that the zone, as the first industrial park built by Chinese enterprises in Bangladesh, is of landmark significance.
Li said that economic cooperation between China and Bangladesh enjoys a sound foundation and broad prospects, and China will continue to encourage Chinese enterprises to cooperate with their Bangladeshi counterparts in more areas.
The ambassador expressed hope that more Chinese enterprises could participate in building more industrial parks in the future and further deepen economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.
The economic and industrial zone covering 778 acres is expected to generate 30,000 jobs, according to BEZA Executive Chairman Shaikh Yusuf Harun.
He said the zone is fully dedicated to Chinese entrepreneurs and investors.
Chemical, automobile assembly, garments and pharmaceutical factories will be built in the economic and industrial zone.